Two RegardiLeaks sources deep inside the White House have revealed that a secret task force has all but finished final plans for legislation nationalizing internet gambling.
The annual income from “the 10% vig,” oops, tax — estimated to be close to $1 trillion by the end of President Barack Obama’s second term — would nearly wipe out the current budget deficit.
State and local casino and lottery operations would not affected by the new national legislation.
Code named “You Bet Your Ass,” the concept was conceived in a late night drinking and strategy session in May when it seemed obvious to the president’s senior advisors that a second dip of the economy was all but inevitable.
As the fifth fifth of Talisker scotch — the current beverage of choice in Washington — was passed around the table, the always mild-mannered chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, slurred the battle cry of the forthcoming campaign: “I’ll give you 10:1 odds that we kick the shit out of those MF’s in 2012.”
At that moment, Moshe Peddler, the senior partner of Peddler and Marconi Communications and the president’s outside media maven, felt he had been hit by a thunderbolt.
Nevertheless, it took him all night to put the pieces together: that “10:1 odds” phrase, combined with a lifetime of peddling crap, meant federal control and the “taxing” of online gambling. A quick Google search revealed that it was already legal in some major European countries.
Internet gambling was coming. The only question was who would control it: the casino operators or Uncle Sam? Today, the Democrats had control of Congress and maybe they could ram it through. After the elections, who knew?
Using $200,000 of his company’s political slush funds, Peddler went right to work: grassroots call-ins the next morning to 2,500 radio stations, followed up by in-depth research. That evening, 3,547 land line and cell phone surveys were conducted on two key issues: First, 73% wanted internet gambling; and, second, the public didn’t give a damn who controlled it, as long as they got to play an honest game of Texas Hold? Em.
The next morning, Moshe, Rahm and the President sat down for a super secret meeting. Everyone else was banished. Even the secret recording system was shut down.
In five minutes, Moshe presented his plan, his research, the preliminary numbers from the budget office and his findings. The chief of staff was so happy he danced on nine fingers. Maybe he would stay the full term after all.
The president was another story. Obviously, he’d piss off the religious right and the casino owners. But they were leaning GOP anyway. If Peddler’s numbers were right, he’d come close to wiping out the budget deficit. He figured that plus health care might make him the fifth face on Mt. Rushmore.
Peddler read his boss’ face. He was the best closer on the planet, and went in for the kill like Tyson in his prime.
“Mr. President, did you know that England and France have already legalized Internet gambling? Denmark has finished its legislation and Germany, Switzerland and Spain are goose-stepping to be next in line. We either try to regulate and tax it, or people are going to go to the offshore operators, where you don’t get any revenue.”
The president was sold.
“Rahm,” said the now beaming Obama, “alert all the cable and networks for a major address for Sunday at nine. And make sure those budget numbers are right.
“Finally, we need a slogan. Something like: Game On.”
Bill Regardie was the founder and publisher of Regardie’s Magazine.