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Evangelistic News Sites Against Online Gambling


by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
March 21, 2009

               Online casino gambling has received a great deal of criticism from several government bodies and religious organizations since it was launched in the early 90’s, and members of the industry recently fought back against Evangelistic websites that have denounced internet gambling. A recent influx of accusations against internet casino gambling, such as claims that it is detrimental to youth, has caused many online casino operators to form a rebuttal.

                One website, Onenewsnow.com, a Christian news outlet, made substantial claims that playing casinos online is an even more excessive risk than that of stock market investments. The site alleges, among other outrageously conservative accusations, that players are “investing their money in something that promises even less return.”

                The article, entitled ‘Online Wagering – It’s a Bad Bet,’ reads, “Tom Grey of Stop Predatory Gambling says gambling operators are largely scavengers who appeal to folks who may be struggling through job or family situations, for example. ‘What happens is they feed on despair, false hope {and promises of} we’re your ticket out of here if you’re in a ghetto or a barrio,’ he explains.”

                The article continues to spread wild accusations against the online casino industry, saying that the evil is growing throughout the U.S. in spite of government officials who have tried to stop it (and protect domestic gambling establishments.) Additionally, in an effort to gain support for the ban of online casino gambling, the article points out poor defenseless old ladies that are lured to gamble in allegedly mafia-run casinos.

                “We have grandmothers now who would have never gone into a mob casino or an illegal casino,” said Grey, barely able to form a coherent sentence. “They get on buses and drive to ‘em every day. So when you legalize something {and} make it more available and accessible, you increase dramatically the people who do it.”

                Rick Wilson, a social commentator disagrees with the allegations, having opined that if money spent on recreational gambling online can be considered an investment, so too can money spent on vacation or the movies. He also notes that many surveys show online casino gamblers are aware of the odds of winning at a casino.

                “Most players say they’d love to win a jackpot, but they are well aware the odds are against them. Very few think they’ll win, but they enjoy playing and like the idea they have a shot, however improbable,” said Wilson.

                The news website has made several false accusations against online casinos – the first and foremost being that they target those in desperate need for an alternative income. Aside from the fact that online gamers cannot wager more than has been deposited into an account, online casino websites provide multiple responsible gaming resources such as self-exclusion plans, hotlines and website resources, NetNanny guides to prevent children from accessing the casino and age verification processes. With the recent reimplementation of the UIGEA, many online casino operators have made the decision to entirely exit the U.S. market altogether.

                A similar website, Citizenlink.com has also made mistruths about online casinos, arguing that there is a substantial increase in U.S. gamers, while also applauding the efficacy of the UIGEA.