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Web gambling ban totally unworkable

To the editor:

As the Nevada director for the Poker Players Alliance, a grass-roots poker advocacy group with more than 1 million members nationwide and 12,870 in Nevada, I was concerned to read that Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., wants to speed up enforcement of the vaguely and broadly written law banning Internet gambling — the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“Internet gambling ban architect frustrated with regulation delays,” Wednesday Review-Journal).

Frankly, the confusion regulators are dealing with as they develop the regulations to enforce the law is a direct result of how this act was written and sneaked into a must-pass port security bill in the dead of night, allowing no time for review and debate.

One of the most egregious flaws in the bill is that it does not define “unlawful Internet gambling,” clearly something that legislation making Internet gambling unlawful should include.

This law is clearly unworkable, as regulators, bankers and several members of Nevada’s congressional delegation have publicly stated. To truly place checks and balances on Internet gambling, Congress should look to existing legislation that would seek to regulate online gambling in order to protect children and problem gamblers and collect the billions of dollars in lost tax revenue from these transactions.

Let’s not blame regulators for struggling to enact his flawed and ambiguous bill and start looking for workable solutions to truly regulate this growing online industry.

Ken Illgen

LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER IS NEVADA DIRECTOR OF THE POKER PLAYERS ALLIANCE.

Child abuse disclosure

To the editor:

In response to your Tuesday report, “Group gives Nevada high mark for child abuse policies”:

I applaud the Nevada Legislature for voting in the most recent session to broaden the laws providing for public disclosure of child abuse fatalities. However, this article, about a recent report that gave Nevada a grade of “A” for its disclosure policies, failed to note the report’s limitations. While the report examined state disclosure policies, it did not determine if or how these policies are being implemented. Obviously, such testing would require much more time and resources.

I commend First Star and the Children’s Advocacy Institute, which authored the report, for calling attention to the issue of disclosure around child abuse fatalities. Despite a federal law mandating such disclosure, many states do not provide it. It is now up to the public to test whether Nevada and other states that received high grades are implementing their policies effectively.

Donna Coleman

HENDERSON

Illegals and health care

To the editor:

I found it ironic that on the day before “May Day,” when pro-illegal alien groups around the country marched again to request “rights for illegals,” that the Review-Journal articles “Hospitals seek cash before chemo” and “More providers in LV Valley now billing in advance” said nothing about one of the main causes of the financial problems in our hospitals — illegal aliens getting medical care for free.

Nowhere in either of these two articles is there any mention made about the main reason for non-payment of medical bills — illegal immigrants.

Pretty sad when American citizens are paying the price (literally and figuratively) when it comes to illegal aliens and the drain they put on our health care and hospital systems.

Colleen Anna

HENDERSON

Water boondoggle

To the editor:

Very soon, we are going to be forced to approve the construction of a water pipeline from Northern Nevada to supply the water needs of formerly “fast-growing” Southern Nevada. Of course, the cost of the water pipeline will be paid by Clark County taxpayers, and its estimated cost has bounced from $2 billion to $3.5 billion.

The push is being led by Pat Mulroy, the Southern Nevada Water Authority head honcho. I saw her on TV a while back, and she railed at the idea that this was nothing but a union-backed boondoggle that mostly helps developers and builders. Like the “Big Dig” in Boston.

I just happened to read about a desalination plant under construction in Sydney, Australia. Sydney was plagued by drought for a number of years, so officials decided to build a controversial plant to boost supplies. The original cost was estimated to be $500 million. But now it’s about three-quarters done, and the cost is expected to be more than $1.9 billion. And, of course, it’s now raining like crazy, and the city’s reservoirs are filling up without the plant.

But the construction of the plant is going forward. This from Sydney Morning Herald columnist Miranda Devine: “Water Minister Nathan Rees — nicknamed Sergeant Schultz by Sydney residents because, like the ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ character, he ‘knows nothink’ — seems intent only on hosing down controversy by throwing taxpayer money at it. Maybe he doesn’t understand the complaints reflect the mood of a sullen state.”

Man, even with the German connection, I hope we don’t have a Sergeant Schultz — or especially a Colonel Klink — in charge at the Southern Nevada Water Authority. We just simply can’t afford such a massive expenditure of our money — yes, our money.

Robert Duggan

HENDERSON

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