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QQWIN99 Threatens United States Security!!!

OK, we all know that the United States government made some trade deals with the Europeans and Antigua-Barbuda and several other countries, in order to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. Now it seems some taxpayers would like to know exactly the terms of those trade deals. Seems simply enough, right?
So, it seems freelance writer Ed Brayton filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get the financial details of these trade agreements. The United States Trade Representative responded by telling Brayton that the information he requested was classified because of national security.
“Be advised that the document you seek is being withheld in full pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1), which pertains to information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.”
Brayton writes on his blog,
“Americans, according to this administration, have no right to know how many billions of our tax dollars they’ve spent with no legislative authorization whatsoever in order to buy the cooperation of other nations and allow them to continue to violate the rights of American adults by preventing them from gambling in the privacy of their own home.”
I really want to say something witty or mean and perhaps even sound disgusted but this is just too stupid for words. The only thing that really scares me is that there probably are some Washington officials who really believe that QQWIN99 is a national security issue; that and we pay these people’s salaries to be this incredibly stupid in public.
EU: The State of Poker
The nations, city-states, regions and races of the European continent have fought for thousands of years. They have fought over territory, religion, ethnicity, money, freedom and slavery, human rights and the right to control humans. Since 1993, the European Union has attempted to be:
“A political and economic community of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in Europe. The EU comprises a single market created by a system of laws which apply in all member states, guaranteeing the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. It maintains a common trade policy, agricultural and fisheries policies, and a regional development policy. The EU represents its members in the WTO and observes at G8 summits and at the UN. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU generated an estimated 31% share of the world’s nominal GDP (US$16.6 trillion) in 2007.” [Wikipedia]
.Some major accomplishments of the EU treaty organization have been:
-the abolition of passport requirements between member nations; although they are now considering fingerprinting all non-EU visitors.
-assigning the exclusive use of the word “chocolate” to a country that exists in the middle of a continent that grows not one single cacao tree.
-a united front for trade negotiations with non-EU members; internal negotiations have not gone so well; which leads us to poker.
Oh right, poker! The EU Internal Markets Commissioner, who is charged with the free flow of trade and products within the European Union is having one hell of a time with regulating or rather de-regulating online gaming. And here you thought the biggest problem was who gets to call their sparkling headache water–champagne.
Below is a current overview of EU members and their non-compliance with the free flow of pot limit poker on the web.
United Kingdom: Perhaps the most unique accommodation has been the UK Whitelist. This allows access to the UK countries via advertising, if and only, if you put you servers where the UK tax collectors can reach the revenue.
Italy: Online gaming is technically legal as long as Italian taxation can be collected based on 3% of earnings from Italian bettors.
Germany: An outright ban with the enforcement regulations put onto financial institutions (ala the U.S. UIGEA ban). Protection of the state operated gaming ‘monopoly’ was the intent.
Spain: Online gaming is legal and licensed by the Spanish government. Licenses are no longer limit in number and are good for five years.
Sweden: Svenska Spel is the most notorious government owned gaming site. Not only does the country restrict other online sites but now Svenska Spel is going international with deals in several countries including Australia.
Finland: A very confused policy but one which briefly produced legislation that would require the refunding of all losses to any Finnish players.
Greece: Poorly written and unevenly enforced 2002 Electronic Gaming Law remains tied up in EU and internal Greek courts. Actual situation as far as online gaming is similar to the U.S. where it is banned but goes on without adequate enforcement procedures.
Netherlands: The leader in the “wait and see” group of countries, several proposals have been shelved including a “Blacklist” to counter the UK’s “Whitelist”.
Austria: The creator of the “One Step not Two” approach, there is a new government operated gaming site but legislation to ban non-Austria sites has not yet been publicly proposed; written yes, discussed yes, offer as legislation no.
France: The French were the first EU member nation to ban all foreign online gaming. They arrested owner/operators who dared come onto French soil and they had several major international poker tours cancel their events scheduled for French casinos. Therefore, it is only appropriate that the French were to first to have the EU trade court rule their gaming laws to have contravened EU directives.
Poland: Proposals to make online gaming legal in Poland have been in the works for over two years with no legislation as of yet. On the ground little enforcement action has been taken to prevent online gambling in Poland.

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