Beat The Fish College Scholarship Program
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed more than a dozen years ago by the United States federal government, permanently altered the course of the online gambling industry.
Despite a Wall Street Journal poll that showed 85% of Americans preferred that the government leave online gambling and the booming online poker market alone, the UIGEA was tacked on to a must-pass security bill. Its 11th-hour inclusion to unrelated security bill sparked controversy at the time, with congressman even stating that no one ever had a chance to review it.
A mass exodus of regulated sports betting, casino, and online poker websites from the American market followed, with the UIGEA having the ultimate effect of driving online betting further underground.
There has since been some progress at the state level, with the US Department of Justice opening the door for individual states to decide how they want to treat online gambling. Thus far, few states have been able to make it past the red tape required to license online gambling.
Today, gambling seems to be more accepted by the public than ever, with major media outlets like ESPN and CBS selling sports picks and dedicating mainstream content to betting lines. Offshore gambling websites like Bovada are regularly referenced for their sports betting lines and quasi-legal online poker sites like Global Poker are sponsoring NASCAR vehicles.
Other forms of online gaming such as online poker may not be thriving to the degree it was at the time the UIGEA was enacted, but it may be able to capitalize via the popularity of sports betting.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court decision ruling The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional was a coup for gambling supporters. It made headlines for removing the major federal hurdle to legal sports betting. The proliferation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has also provided a vehicle for online gamblers to easily move their money.
The time seems ripe for progression on gambling, but the UIGEA still lingers as a federal deterrent to moving it online en masse. Considering the current climate on gambling and its potential for significant tax revenues, is it time for federal lawmakers to revisit the merits of the UIGEA?
- 1st Place: $1,500
- 2nd Place: $500
- 3rd Place: $500
Students must be:
- At least 16 years old
- Accepted by, or currently enrolled at, an accredited college, university, or trade school in the United States
- A resident of the United States or Canada
Submit an essay of at least 800 words, but no more than 1,500 words, answering the following question:
In light of The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act being ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, is it time for federal lawmakers to revisit the relevance and effectiveness of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act?
All valid submissions will be reviewed by the Beat The Fish editorial team. Scholarship winners will be notified on the award selection date and must provide proof of enrollment, such as a transcript or student ID card.
How to Submit Your Application
Email your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your:
- Full name
- Email address
- University/school of attendance
There is no fee to apply. This scholarship is non-renewable, however Beat the Fish will award a new scholarship each year.
Closing date for submissions: March 31, 2021
Award selection date: April 1, 2021