Thursday 17 June 1999
Given that the members of the panel were so divided, between full-blooded champions of gambling and fundamentalist opponents, it is perhaps an achievement that it produced a report at all. Its recommendations may be bland, but the anti-gambling forces have received a pretty good lesson on what gambling can contribute to society. In Las Vegas, for example, the unions and work- force made it abundantly clear how much they relied on gambling for their livelihood.
"It is clear that the American people want legalised gambling and it has already sunk deep economic and other roots in many communities," the report says. The report does not recommend new taxation on gambling, as was once feared. Instead, it calls for states to impose a pause in the expansion of gambling. It also recommends, as was expected, a prohibition on all forms of Internet gambling. This is indeed a hugely expanding sector, outside federal or state control. But since gambling on Internet casinos works through private individuals operating their computers at home, it is hard to see how it can be brought under official jurisdiction, desirable as that might be.
It is doubtful whether any of the commission's list of recommendations, such as a ban on college sports wagering (to prevent game-fixing) or tight restrictions on political contributions by casino companies (to prevent bias) will ever pass into law. The same problem arises, on a smaller scale, in Britain. The Gaming Board is willing to modernise the outdated practices of the Gaming Act of 1968. But it is hard to secure parliamentary time for reform. This is the trouble with gambling. Everyone involved talks a good game, prohibiting this and recommending that, but no one stands up for gamblers' rights.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
- 3 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
The 1975 leave social-media after cryptic comic strip tweet hinting at possible break up
Britain's Got Talent producers apologise for not making Matisse dog double stunt 'clearer'
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Jules and Matisse used secret dog double for winning tightrope act
Netflix is testing out adverts
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9: 'The Dance of Dragons' sees Jon Snow return to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history