Waiting for Godot was difficult enough. Waiting for the US might be tougher
Written by Mickey Charles, President & CEO of The Sports Network
The views expressed in this article represent those of the author and not necessarily those of GBGC.

For those not inclined to travel the literary path from time to time, “Waiting for Godot” was a play by Samuel Beckett, one in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot… and wait, and wait, and wait. Well, you have the picture.

It is important to understand the deceptive and spurious practices of politics in the United States to appreciate or, at least, comprehend the bogus and specious tactics of Congressmen like John Kyl of Arizona. Look at it this way…there was a Safe Port Act that was put forth for passage. Right, concern over our ports, the security of same regarding such items as maritime facilities, worker credential identification, interagency operational centers, container security, foreign port assessments, customs trade participation complemented by such other items as nuclear detection, the Department of Homeland Security, funds for integrated deepwater systems programs and a long-term U.S. Coast Guard modernization program.

Wow, this is good stuff! Certain to pass. Quick…applause, pom-poms, marching bands and congratulatory messages.

As Harry Houdini was heard to say, “Work with the left hand while you have their attention on the right.” Poof, magic!! What a good place to secret Title VIII of the Act, better known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). ) This is the one that prohibits the transfer of funds from a financial institution to an illegal Internet gambling site, specifically excluding fantasy sports, online lotteries, and horse/harness racing.

Permit me to sum up just how Machiavellian and circuitous a process took place, calculating and prevaricatory. The original bill never mentioned the UIGEA but it was later slipped into the SAFE Port Act and signed into law by that paragon of purity, that citadel of contumacious craftiness, George W. Bush. It was added in a conference report late at night and reading of the report was waived!!! No one knew what they had signed. Isn’t this appalling??

Welcome to the worlds of Jim Leach, Robert Goodlatte, Bill Frist and the leader of the gang, John Kyl. You thought dealing with the mafia was perverse?!?!?! Child’ play compared to this group.

Despite all the efforts these days of Barney Frank, legalized Internet gambling is not on the immediate horizon in The Colonies. It might come, it will come and the law referred to herein will be repealed and replaced. Yes, replaced. They will toss out the dirty water, make sure that the baby is not in the tub and replace with it clean water that still addresses gambling on the Internet but not to the satisfaction of all.

The guess out of this corner is that the funnel will open and end in Nevada with the potential of its expanding into Indian gaming establishments as well as racetracks that dot the landscape. The change, if and when it takes place, will not be an open invitation to Costa Rica, Antigua, Panama, Gibraltar or anywhere in Europe.

Coral, William Hill, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Victor Chandler, and others, will have to come here and set up acceptable residency and working parameters that suit the government. It is akin to what Cantor Gaming has done by establishing itself in Nevada right now. The government will trust, and do business, with the MGM Mirage, Stations Casinos, Caesars, Harrah’, Hilton and Cantor.

While Europe continues to advantage the vast, fruitful populace of the U.S., despite being asked not to and denying, all the while, that they take wagers from U.S. citizens, they have their sights focused on the U.S. and see the introduction, as Cantor has initiated, of “in running wagering” as the keys to the kingdom’ treasures without having to offer “Open Sesame!!” As long as Barack Obama remains president, and Frank is a member of Congress, there will be change for the better but it will still remain a matter of degree and coverage. It has a chance, the change, because the first effort, Republican driven, was fraught with idiotic ideology and myopic vision. It played to the masses that elected those responsible for its passage as a tick on the show dog and was, as has been noted, deceitfully and guilefully driven.

When UIGEA is driven into the bowels of Congress, where it belongs, with John Kyl, it is then, and only then, that the sportsbooks like BetCRIS, Bodog, MGM Mirage, WSEX, Stations Casinos, “M” and a host of others can open up new vaults in Switzerland and even plan unhindered trips home.

It is coming but so is the Messiah and that has taken thousands of years without results to speak of to date. However, employing the Boy Scout Code and being prepared is not the worst cause of action you can take these days if you are a sports book. Having an umbrella handy despite the weather forecast is not a bad idea.

Repeals, revisions, relocation and in-running gaming for a change of pace have moved off the back burner but the flame at the front still only flickers…and it is being fuelled as it grows brighter. But, how long until a blaze? Beats the hell out me.