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Analysts say online gambling law a bad idea

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: Analysts say online gambling law a bad idea

'Moral crusade ... is wrong for about 1,000 reasons'

Yesterday, the Department of Justice [DOJ] announced charges against 11 individuals and four companies accused of taking sports bets from U.S. residents in the $12 billion a year online gambling industry.

The charges focused on the persons and companies that supported BetonSports PLC, a U.K. incorporated, publicly traded company and popular Internet sportsbook that claims to have 1.2 million registered users.

"The view of the DOJ is and has been that Internet gambling is illegal," said Brian Sierra, a spokesperson for the DOJ.

Among those charged were the company's CEO David Carruthers — arrested over the weekend at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport — and the site's founder Gary Kaplan. Both are charged with conspiracy, racketeering and fraud.

Many, both in and out of the industry, see this as the opening salvo in a battle to bring down Internet gambling in the U.S., just a week after Congress voted in favor of legislation clarifying that gambling online is a crime.

"It's a moral crusade," claimed Radley Balko, a policy analyst at the CATO Institute, an organization that scrutizes public policy. "These guys have a personal opposition to gambling and they want to impose that on the rest of the country."

Gamblers, Rapists and Child Molesters

In past weeks, politicians on both the federal and state level have given Internet gambling a black eye — and a couple of bruised ribs.

Aside from Congress taking up the issue, the state of Washington recently strengthened its anti-gambling laws to make online gambling a Class C felony, on a level with animal cruelty, child molestation and rape.

Though state officials have been quoted as saying Internet gamblers won't face the same kinds of prison terms and fines as rapists and child molesters, it may be little consolation to some who get a felony conviction on their record, for playing poker.

"It's wrong for about 1,000 reasons," said Balko, "but the main ones are it's not gonna work — it'll just push it underground."

Balko argues that any attempts to curb Internet gambling are bound to fail and are hypocritical due to the legal nature of online horse and lottery betting, which benefit individual states.

The law in Washington is so strict, he says, it has become a crime to even write about gambling.

"The Seattle Times was told it would have to discontinue its poker column because it was now illegal," Balko said.

In addition, several gambling publications have now canceled subscriptions to Washington State residents.

Laws to Protect or Restrict

According to Sierra, the new laws and Congress' interest in online gambling have nothing to do with the latest round of charges lodged by the Department of Justice.

"We're not trying to send a grand scale message here," he said. "We've been saying it for years: Internet gambling is illegal."

Sierra says the department's position is and has always been that anyone either in or outside of the U.S. who operates illegal online gambling operations to take bets from U.S. residents is committing a crime. Period.

But Balko argues that the laws enacted and speculated about are being made on political points which are a stretch and in some cases are downright absurd.

"The people who are pushing this ban in Congress ... try to argue these sites prey on children, which is totally ridiculous," he said. "If your kid has access to your checking account or credit card and is making transfers to off-shore accounts across the world, Internet gambling is the least of your worries."

ABC News

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13 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by orangeman.
Page 1 of 1
Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23275 Posts
Online
Posted: July 19, 2006, 11:29 am - IP Logged

For me, the ultimate measure of how bad this law is can be summed up by what has taken place in Washington State:

The law in Washington is so strict, he says, it has become a crime to even write about gambling.

"The Seattle Times was told it would have to discontinue its poker column because it was now illegal," Balko said.

In addition, several gambling publications have now canceled subscriptions to Washington State residents.

So now people cannot even write about something.  This is total censorship.  The concept of online gambling has become worse than child pornography in the state of Washington.  You would be able to write an article about any vile subject there, but the government will censure you if you dare issue a peep about gambling.

 

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    Avatar
    Knoxville
    United States
    Member #13510
    April 7, 2005
    89 Posts
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    Posted: July 19, 2006, 12:13 pm - IP Logged

    The state of Washington would lose this if taken to the supreme court.

      Avatar
      Amarillo/Austin
      United States
      Member #1424
      April 25, 2003
      696 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 19, 2006, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

      This issue will probably make it to the Supreme Court.

      Orangeman                                            Unhappy

        Avatar
        Raleigh, NC
        United States
        Member #40946
        June 9, 2006
        70 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 19, 2006, 5:05 pm - IP Logged

        There has been legal Internet gambling for years, encouraged by Congress.  Everytime you take money and buy 100 shares of any publicly traded company through an online broker, you are gambling, pure and simple.  If you don't work at the company, you have absolutely no control over whether the value of the company's shares go up or down, so to me, that's no 'investment', it's a gamble, hope that the stock will rise, against fear it will not go down.  You can no more control the outcome of the future share price of Microsoft or Coca Cola, than you can the outcome of a Bears-Packers game or Red Sox- Yankees showdown.  In the case of this so-called 'investment' in a mature public company, the company doesn't even get the money, you are just buying some other poor sap's 'investment'.  No different than if I sold off my Dodgers-Angels bet slip to my brother half-way through the fifth inning.

        Remember when you could read about 'day traders' in almost every publication in the late '90s?  Gamblers.  Only without the green-eye shades, spiked hair and tatoos.

        The hypocrisy stuns. 

          Avatar
          HOUSTON
          United States
          Member #1625
          June 7, 2003
          1089 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 19, 2006, 5:23 pm - IP Logged

          What happened to freedom of the press in Washington? 

          If a gambling website was based in Nevada, Louisiana, et al, would it be legal then?

          Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.

            takeitez's avatar - japheth
            Carters Lake, Ga.
            United States
            Member #5313
            June 29, 2004
            1065 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 19, 2006, 5:27 pm - IP Logged

            From the article;

            "The people who are pushing this ban in Congress ... try to argue these sites prey on children, which is totally ridiculous," he said. "If your kid has access to your checking account or credit card and is making transfers to off-shore accounts across the world, Internet gambling is the least of your worries."

            I Agree!

            ez

                      No Pity!Guitar  Drum ........ in the long run........

              bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

              United States
              Member #12618
              March 18, 2005
              2060 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 19, 2006, 5:39 pm - IP Logged

              I hope this doesn't effect this site. I would hate Lottery Post being shut down because of this ridiculous law.

              Dance like no one is watching.

                Avatar
                Raleigh, NC
                United States
                Member #40946
                June 9, 2006
                70 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 19, 2006, 5:42 pm - IP Logged

                "I would hate Lottery Post being shut down because of this ridiculous law."

                No worries, the Lottery is legal in almost every state.

                  Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
                  Wisconsin
                  United States
                  Member #1303
                  March 27, 2003
                  1508 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 19, 2006, 7:00 pm - IP Logged

                  For me, the ultimate measure of how bad this law is can be summed up by what has taken place in Washington State:

                  The law in Washington is so strict, he says, it has become a crime to even write about gambling.

                  "The Seattle Times was told it would have to discontinue its poker column because it was now illegal," Balko said.

                  In addition, several gambling publications have now canceled subscriptions to Washington State residents.

                  So now people cannot even write about something.  This is total censorship.  The concept of online gambling has become worse than child pornography in the state of Washington.  You would be able to write an article about any vile subject there, but the government will censure you if you dare issue a peep about gambling.

                  Do our politicians now wear brown  shirts?

                  ============

                  How can you tell if a politician is lying?

                  Answer: His lips are moving.

                    Jimiam's avatar - ICONATOR 4af8c649273bc68ca3f95ed9dd755e65.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #39406
                    May 15, 2006
                    287 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 19, 2006, 8:10 pm - IP Logged

                    Those analyst can say anything they like. I really not a gambler, I don't play poker or casino. Only play lotto once in a while. I just don't like how they think they can tell me what I can do while I sit at my computer. I realize things are worse in other countries, but give it time and the way thing look like they're heading. It can get very much worse. Especially, after 911, and all this trade off of liberties to protect me from this boogie man. And I'm not sure sometimes I even believe some of this garbage they tell me of 911. And they haven't caught that boogie man have they? Hey, lets forget about Osama for now. Let's get those darn online gamblers. Hey, they're an easy target. Go get em.  I hate politics and I hate politicians. Sorry, that's just the way it is with me

                      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                      Tennessee
                      United States
                      Member #7853
                      October 15, 2004
                      11338 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 19, 2006, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

                      i agree.its getting out of hand.its like we are being baby sitted by the government.

                        thinreality's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
                        NC
                        United States
                        Member #41356
                        June 15, 2006
                        27 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 19, 2006, 9:52 pm - IP Logged

                        There has been legal Internet gambling for years, encouraged by Congress.  Everytime you take money and buy 100 shares of any publicly traded company through an online broker, you are gambling, pure and simple.  If you don't work at the company, you have absolutely no control over whether the value of the company's shares go up or down, so to me, that's no 'investment', it's a gamble, hope that the stock will rise, against fear it will not go down.  You can no more control the outcome of the future share price of Microsoft or Coca Cola, than you can the outcome of a Bears-Packers game or Red Sox- Yankees showdown.  In the case of this so-called 'investment' in a mature public company, the company doesn't even get the money, you are just buying some other poor sap's 'investment'.  No different than if I sold off my Dodgers-Angels bet slip to my brother half-way through the fifth inning.

                        Remember when you could read about 'day traders' in almost every publication in the late '90s?  Gamblers.  Only without the green-eye shades, spiked hair and tatoos.

                        The hypocrisy stuns. 

                        Brilliant. Thumbs Up

                        It's called 'playing' numbers because it's FUN!

                          Avatar
                          Amarillo/Austin
                          United States
                          Member #1424
                          April 25, 2003
                          696 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: July 20, 2006, 9:50 pm - IP Logged

                          We may be worried about nothing.  Much like a search warrant, legislation has to be very specific to be effective.  In other words, there was NO INTERNET at the time the law was written and, as far as I can tell, on-line wagering on lottery numbers is not mentioned in this specific piece of legislation.  If memory serves, the first state lottery began in New Hampshire in 1964.  Who would envision that anyone would create something like the INTERNET and let people wager on every state drawing offered from an off-shore location?

                          As far as I can tell, the legislation in question addresses telephone and telegraph wagering.  The only way they can stop online wagering on lottery numbers is to copyright the numbers and claim copyright infringement. This is highly unlikely to happen because numbers fall into the same caterogy as colors and flavors.  They cannot be copyrighted.

                          Critiques of this line of reasoning are encouraged.  We need to define an approach that will stop this moralistic crusade.  Perhaps we can initiate a class action suit to stop the insanity that is sweeping this nation.  The Founding Fathers held lotteries to pay for the war against the British.  It is American as apple pie.

                          Orangeman                                                            US Flag