The huge and exponential growth spurt in Internet technology has attracted and made fans out of millions of people worldwide, making this an industry of behemoth proportions. This has drastically changed the way people spend time and also work nowadays. There is now an instant access to information and things that can be done online. This has affected all kinds of things that were done offline.There seems to be a conceivable effect of this on the gambling industry also, which is explored below:All the games that can be played in a casino can now be played online, giving the gambler an option to gamble to his heart’s content sitting in the comfort of his home. Is this good enough, will it attract the same number of people as a casino does, is what needs to be looked at.Though a lot of effort has been made to give an authentic feel when compared to offline gambling, it just isn’t enough. The main things that are missing are the ambience of a real casino which can never be recreated in an online environment. The other draw back is the adrenalin rush that comes with offline gambling, in the brick and mortar world a gambler often gambles with his friends around so there is a charged atmosphere created and there is also a palpable exciting environment created which can never really happen when gambling online.There is also the scope of a lot of socializing in offline gambling which is not there online as the player is alone. There are also other issues with online gambling as there is a perceived or implied threat of financial security while even doing small things like shopping online let alone gambling. There is a general feeling of discomfort in using a credit card on the net, people fear that it can be misused without their knowledge.When a person is doing offline gambling he can choose on what he wants to gamble on instantaneously, he can move from table to table and choose what is he comfortable playing, which is limited when it comes to online gambling.Also when it is offline gambling there is that added attraction of the light and sound effects found in a regular casino, the various shows that they put up the multiple avenues of entertainment that are available when the gambling happens in a building with a lot of people around.
This is part 3 of a multipart series of articles regarding proposed anti-gambling legislation. In this article, I continue the discussion of the reasons claimed to make this legislation necessary, and the facts that exist in the real world, including the Jack Abramoff connection and the addictive nature of online gambling.The legislators are trying to protect us from something, or are they? The whole thing seems a little confusing to say the least.As mentioned in previous articles, the House, and the Senate, are once again considering the issue of “Online Gambling”. Bills have been submitted by Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach, and also by Senator Kyl.The bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte, The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, has the stated intention of updating the Wire Act to outlaw all forms of online gambling, to make it illegal for a gambling business to accept credit and electronic transfers, and to force ISPs and Common Carriers to block access to gambling related sites at the request of law enforcement.Just as does Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Kyl, in his bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling, makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit cards, electronic transfers, checks and other forms of payment for the purpose on placing illegal bets, but his bill does not address those that place bets.The bill submitted by Rep. Leach, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is basically a copy of the bill submitted by Sen. Kyl. It focuses on preventing gambling businesses from accepting credit cards, electronic transfers, checks, and other payments, and like the Kyl bill makes no changes to what is currently legal, or illegal.In a quote from Goodlatte we have “Jack Abramoff’s total disregard for the legislative process has allowed Internet gambling to continue thriving into what is now a twelve billion-dollar business which not only hurts individuals and their families but makes the economy suffer by draining billions of dollars from the United States and serves as a vehicle for money laundering.”There are several interesting points here.First of all, we have a little misdirection about Jack Abramoff and his disregard for the legislative process. This comment, and others that have been made, follow the logic that; 1) Jack Abramoff was opposed to these bills, 2) Jack Abramoff was corrupt, 3) to avoid being associated with corruption you should vote for these bills. This is of course absurd. If we followed this logic to the extreme, we should go back and void any bills that Abramoff supported, and enact any bills that he opposed, regardless of the content of the bill. Legislation should be passed, or not, based on the merits of the proposed legislation, not based on the reputation of one individual.As well, when Jack Abramoff opposed previous bills, he did so on behalf of his client eLottery, attempting to get the sale of lottery tickets over the internet excluded from the legislation. Ironically, the protections he was seeking are included in this new bill, since state run lotteries would be excluded. Jack Abramoff therefore would probably support this legislation since it gives him what he was looking for. That does not stop Goodlatte and others from using Abramoff’s recent disgrace as a means to make their bill look better, thus making it not just an anti-gambling bill, but somehow an ant-corruption bill as well, while at the same time rewarding Abramoff and his client.Next, is his statement that online gambling “hurts individuals and their families”. I presume that what he is referring to here is problem gambling. Let’s set the record straight. Only a small percentage of gamblers become problem gamblers, not a small percentage of the population, but only a small percentage of gamblers.In addition, Goodlatte would have you believe that Internet gambling is more addictive than casino gambling. Sen. Kyl has gone so far as to call online gambling “the crack cocaine of gambling”, attributing the quote to some un-named researcher. To the contrary, researchers have shown that gambling on the Internet is no more addictive than gambling in a casino. As a matter of fact, electronic gambling machines, found in casinos and race tracks all over the country are more addictive than online gambling.In research by N. Dowling, D. Smith and T. Thomas at the School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, Australia “There is a general view that electronic gaming is the most ‘addictive’ form of gambling, in that it contributes more to causing problem gambling than any other gambling activity. As such, electronic gaming machines have been referred to as the ‘crack-cocaine’ of gambling”.As to Sen. Kyls claim about “crack cocaine”, quotes at http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/20733/ include “Cultural busybodies have long known that in post this-is-your-brain-on-drugs America, the best way to win attention for a pet cause is to compare it to some scourge that already scares the bejesus out of America”. And “During the 1980s and ’90s, it was a little different. Then, a troubling new trend wasn’t officially on the public radar until someone dubbed it “the new crack cocaine.” And “On his Vice Squad weblog, University of Chicago Professor Jim Leitzel notes that a Google search finds experts declaring slot machines (The New York Times Magazine), video slots (the Canadian Press) and casinos (Madison Capital Times) the “crack cocaine of gambling,” respectively. Leitzel’s search also found that spam email is “the crack cocaine of advertising” (Sarasota, Fla. Herald Tribune), and that cybersex is a kind of sexual “spirtual crack cocaine” (Focus on the Family)”.As we can see, calling something the “crack cocaine” has become a meaningless metaphor, showing only that the person making the statement feels it is important. But then we knew that Rep. Goodlatte, Rep. Leach and Sen. Kyl felt that the issue was important or they wouldn’t have brought the proposed legislation forward.In the next article, I will continue coverage of the issues raised by politicians who are against online gambling, and provide a different perspective to their rhetoric, covering the “drain on the economy” caused by online gambling, and the notion of money laundering.
The online education market is increasing by “33% a year” according to Salary.com . This expansion is due to the many opportunities that the Internet affords. Earning a degree was once a pipe dream for the stay at home mom with 3 kids or the rural farm worker, but a degree is now available to anyone with an Internet connection. With this increased access also comes increased risk, with so many colleges offering online degree programs there are also just as many crooks offering you quick and easy programs that take your money and leave you with nothing of value. Choosing the right degree program can open new doors, increase your income or just allow you to fulfill a lifelong dream. How do you avoid the crooks and what will an online degree be worth when you have completed it?If it seems to good to be true it probably is. Most of the scams can be broken in to two categories; the “Degree Mills” and “This is way to easy to be college”. The Degree Mill is very simple, you send them some exorbitant amount of money and they mail you a very nice official looking piece of paper with your name on it that say you have a degree. Degree mills are worthless. You receive no education from them. Do not go looking to just buy a degree, you need to earn it. The other scam is what I call “This is way to easy to be college”. You may have seen spam email from these so called colleges. They generally advertise earning a degree in some radically quick time frame (6 months) or only taking a small number of classes. If you were to go to one of these schools they still require some exorbitant fee for what you learn and the classes require little or no work/study. In the end your degree may still be worthless. So how do you choose a degree program that will be worth something?When choosing an online degree program make sure it is accredited by a sanctioned agency. Accreditation helps ensure that the curriculum and the instructors are of high caliber and afford you the best learning opportunity. Accreditation also add more vale to your degree in the eyes of employers and if you wanted to use that degree as a stepping stone you next degree. You still need to be cautious all Accreditations are not equal you should make sure accreditation agency is recognized. Who are the recognizers? “Washington, D.C.-based Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a private nonprofit national organization, and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE)” From jobs.aol.comWhen researching about an online program U.S News & World Report suggest the following :Don’t limit your research to classified ads or survey the Web in search of the right course or program.See if the online school is accredited and by whom. Check to see if the accrediting agency is officially sanctioned. Lists are available from several accrediting organizations.Check with licensing boards and professional associations to see if the program delivers an acceptable level of training.Call or write the Better Business Bureau and the attorney general’s office to make sure the school is operating legally in a state and to see if anyone has filed a complaint.Find out if the school is connected to an established, reputable parent company.If you intend to transfer any online credits earned to another college or university, early on check with that institution to see if they accept those credits.Ask about the faculty? Who teaches the courses? What degrees do they have? What is their area of expertise?Refer to the published guides of online, correspondence and other distance delivered courses.What value will your online degree have? The value of an online degree depends on a person’s particular situation. The greatest value will depends on how you will use the degree. According to Howstuffoworks.com industries like Internet/New Media, Technology, and High Tech are the highest supporters of an online degree. While an online degree holds the least value in Medicine, Law, and Health Care/Bio Tech industries. Even tho “Thomas L. Russell of North Carolina State University, did studies that revealed that there is little if any difference in the quality of education received through online distance learning versus traditional classrooms.” – Howstuffworks.comWith this mixed result; an online degree is still a great option for those that have little other choices or those who just don’t like traditional classrooms.For example: “The cost benefit of online programs lies mainly in the opportunity costs saved, as most students are able to keep their jobs while taking online classes.” – Salary.com”Tonya Gordon ended up with her dream job, doubled her salary, and feels challenged and fulfilled every day. This all happened within a few months of receiving her MBA online through Texas Woman’s University (Denton, Texas)” – jobs.aol.comWithout a doubt the popularity of online degrees is exploding. The mass adoption of this form of learning will cause the less accepting industries to value the online degree equal to a traditional degree. The online degree requires the student to be more aware of the school and degree they choose to ensure that it will have value to them. Online accredited degrees have value and will improve your marketability in the job market and can increase your salary range.Works CitedKneram, Caitlin. “The Value of Online Learning.”Salary.comMay 5th, 2007Tellefsen, Robyn. “Will Your Degree Have Value?”jobs.aol.comMay 5th, 2007Obringer, Lee Ann. “How online degrees work.”Howstuffworks.comMay 5th, 2007Mannix, Margaret. “Buyers, Be wary. Choosing Reputable Distance Learning Programs.” U.S News & World Report, October 15, 2001, p68.