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Betting Against Online Gambling 175

Posted by Zonk
from the roaches-under-the-fridge dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek.com has an article looking at the possible consequences if anti-gambling legislation is passed. From the article: 'Just how much of a setback is the proposed legislation for the $12 billion industry? While online gambling companies generate half their sales from U.S. gamblers, the industry is operated almost completely by companies beyond the reach of U.S. regulators. [...] It's a lot of smoke and mirrors and misstatements.'"
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Betting Against Online Gambling

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  • by Atario (673917) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @05:45AM (#15724056) Homepage
    ...that there's nothing else important going on the country or the world, so Congress can address the dire scourge of online gambling.
    • by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @05:52AM (#15724063)
      But gambling is against the scripture, while depriving citizens of their freedoms isn't.
      • I, for one, like gambling along with the lottery. It is a tax on folks who cannot do math.
        • Don't worry, they're not banning the lottery. They need lottery balls to clear out the tubes [youtube.com]
        • Since there are a fixed amount of cards in the deck, and since there is nothing to prevent one person, or a group of friends using teamspeak, then it's realatively easy to figure out what cards are being played, and thus swing the odds.

          I recall some programs available that would do this for you. Only idiots would do this and not expect to lose money.

        • Not in the cases where people buy lottery tickets knowing that they're not likely to win but - in part - because they support the causes that the lottery money goes towards. It's not always a tax on the stupid, sometimes it's a voluntary tax with a slight chance of getting a huge windfall. I don't remember the IRS ever giving out money like that.
          • I am not sure where you live, but in my part of the world, the percentage that actually goes to th "intended beneficiaries" is miniscule. There is so much administrative orerhead that you would give more to the school system by giving them a Washington ($1 bill) than "giving" $25 to the lottery.
      • by CustomDesigned (250089) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @10:55AM (#15724544) Homepage Journal
        There is no direct mention of gambling in the Bible. Proverbs advises, "Wealth quickly gained is quickly lost", which applies to gambling. Gambling as entertainment is perfectly compatible with Christian morality. And yet, there are good reasons why the knee jerk reaction of most Christians is "Gambling is Evil". It is a similar problem to alchohol or tobacco. They have seen too many lives ruined by gambling addiction.

        As soon as a gambler's money ceases to be an expense (like movies or gaming software), and he begins to hope or depend on a lucky streak to solve his financial problems, the gambling becomes an evil addiction. Mathematical ability is not the issue, gambling addiction is irrational. It is a spiritual problem that puts hope of financial salvation in an eventual win.

        Sometimes people with excellent math ability can win consistently at games like BlackJack. In my opinion, this is wrong also. An honest casino is a form of entertainment. They would be up front about the house percentage built in to all the games. The card counter again turns gambling into an income rather than an expense. Often successfully, to be sure, but it is like a quick change artist robbing a movie theatre.

        In real life, of course, most Casinos seek to exploit gambling addiction for profit, rather like Tobacco companies exploiting nicotine addiction. Casinos with such sleazy motives in turn create a sleazy atmosphere around the Casino. The campaigns to ban gambling have the same motivation as the campaigns to ban smoking.

        There have been some attempts to create wholesome Casinos. The main idea is that you buy tokens which cannot be redeemed for cash (same idea as pinball machines), so there is no temptation to look to the games as income. Such a Casino would probably qualify as "not gambling" under anti-gambling laws. Of course, playing this form of "gambling" is like smoking nicotine-free tobacco.

        • Then the correct path to take is to provide help for those who can't gamble responsibly, and allow those who can to play. Trust me, my $6 tournament once or twice a week is not going to break me (even ignoring the fact that I've won money over time). THe best route would be to legalize US gambling sites, tax them, and make them set aside a portion of those profits for gambling addiction treatment.
          • You are correct. But "help" for the addict would mean turning them away as a customer. But then the addict just goes to the sleazy part of town to a casino that won't turn them away - and they are worse off than before. Helping an addict is a large and complex problem. Sometimes it seems easier to just ban the problematic substance or activity.

            My boss gambles responsibly. He takes $800 to Vegas, and stays a week. Usually, he runs through that budget before the week is out, and goes to shows for the

            • Simpler, yes. But there's 2 major problems with it. First, you're violating the rights and freedom of the rest of the population- doing so to take care of a small portion of the population that can't handle it is not acceptable. Secondly, it doesn't work- you can find gambling halls in any city in the nation, if you know where to look.
        • by bnenning (58349) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @03:54PM (#15725499)
          Sometimes people with excellent math ability can win consistently at games like BlackJack. In my opinion, this is wrong also.

          That's just silly. A successful blackjack card counter is following the rules of the game, and coming out ahead by making correct decisions. You might as well say that it's "wrong" to pay off your credit card every month because Mastercard wants to collect interest on the balance.
        • There is no direct mention of gambling in the Bible.
          There isn't ? I seem to remember something along the lines of "Behold he who playes the machine of the devil, for the false wealth that cometh through the tubes shall haunt him until he is but an empty shelle".

          Or maybe I've gotten it confused with something else...

          (Disclaimer : I only actually thumbed through a bible in a hotel once)
    • ...that there's nothing else important going on the country or the world, so Congress can address the dire scourge of online gambling.

      Seriously, there is something important. The war in the middle east, and this law has everything to do with it. I myself am somewhat sympathetic to the war, but the simple honest truth is that the government simply can't pay for it. Really, Congress could care less about people who are down and out from gambling, but they care alot about people escaping the overbearing


    • Give our Congress credit where credit is due. They've prioritized on-line gambling behind flag burning, gay marriage and the threat our lettuce-pickers pose to national security.

      I don't know. It seems that when the U.S. passes a law the rest of the world is supposed to obey it so are most of the servers really out of reach? Join the army and see the world? I don't think so. See Iraq maybe. But every month it seems like you read about the FBI raiding someplace in Russia, South Africa, etc. etc. Join t
    • Let's say your constituency, or better still, the constituency of your party's leaders, include the good citizens who work in and own the glass and steel gambling houses. Let's also imagine that recent hurricanes destroyed many gambling houses (which were on the water due to legislative hyprocrisy) leaving many of your voters without a job and leaving quite a few [Republican, we don't raise taxes, ever] state and municipal governments without tax revenues until and if the casinos rebuild. Well, a little eco

  • Adverts (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, 2006 @05:46AM (#15724058)
    So, will this outlaw all those internet ads where I can win something by spanking the Monkey? Or was that punching the Monkey? Maybe that's why I never win..
  • by spagetti_code (773137) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @05:57AM (#15724069)
    FTFA:
    encourages financial institutions to deny Internet gambling transactions


    So the gambling sites will move offshore. The banks and credit card companies will not want to lose that massive
    source of transactions, and will find a way to continue those transactions. There is no explicit restriction on them.

    There's too much money at stake here.
    • Not just money, there are many many people involved, that like Poker, betting, and what not.

      Why prohibit what ordinary citizens might actually *want* and like? Smells awfully like fascism.
    • by zaphod_es (613312) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:26AM (#15724114)
      The gambling sites are offshore already, this proposal is an attempt to stop Americans using them by blocking transfers of money to and from them.

      You are right that there is too much money at stake to stop it. This is yet another example of the Canute effect [wikipedia.org] where people believe that merely making a new law or regulation necessarily achieves the desired effect. Have the legislators forgotten prohibition?
      • Not all of it will go offshore. You can expect a lot of Indian reserves to set up server farms on Indian-controlled land. This way, even if the credit card companies are forced to stop allowing online deposits, there's nothing to stop anyone from going to the local reserve and swiping their debit card, or having a friend who lives nearby deposit some cash.

    • Actually you are wrong... credit card companies are scared of gambling transactions for several reasons.

      A) They are more likely to be fraudulent
      B) Gambling addicts are more likely to max out and then declare bankrupcy
      C) They are being pressured from various sources to stop these transactions

      The proof is there. Several huge companies such as MBNA outrightly do not work on gambling sites. Others treat gambling credits as cash advances. Even paypal, which has little to worry about chargebacks etc. because they
  • by cfeedback (467360) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:05AM (#15724079) Journal
    ...I'm glad I've managed to stay away from gambling online. If I had ever gotten into it, I probably wouldn't have this PC and net access to comment on this article. The two states I've lived in my whole life, Oregon and Nevada, are #2 and #1 in gambling addiction per capita (too lazy to provide links, but google it if you'd like) respectively. I've seen many friends who have wrecked their lives with gambling, and have come damn close to wrecking my own.

    I'm sure this bill will be denounced on slashdot, but I really don't think of it as *that* evil. Sure, there are plenty of legitimate online gambling sites, but many of them are there solely to rip you off of your hard earned dollars, and often times people (unfortunately) cannot tell the difference. Maybe, just maybe, our elected legislators have our best interest in heart this time.

    I mean in this day, is anyone really more than a few hours away from an Indian casino? Do you really need 24/7 access to gambling? It might be that the very few hours of distance is all that saves a lot of people from their self...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I know exactly how you feel. As an IT equipment addict, I've spent a fortune on new hard drives, new monitors, CPUs' RAM etc. in the past year alone. When they've finished with gambling hopefullt they'll ban IT sales next. Oh, and then everything else. Won't someone please think of the consumers?
      • I know exactly how you feel. As an IT equipment addict, I've spent a fortune on new hard drives, new monitors, CPUs' RAM etc. in the past year alone. When they've finished with gambling hopefullt they'll ban IT sales next. Oh, and then everything else. Won't someone please think of the consumers?

        ... and after that, maybe they can ban food. I must be addicted, I have to eat several times a day! Obviously not everyone is similarly addicted - look at Celine Dion - she not only can't sing, she obviously doe

    • Coming from a non-gambling addict: Are you seriously suggesting that I shouldn't be allowed to gamble because you can't handle it?

      Gambling is not chemically addictive. Its time for you to take some personal responibility for your lifestyle choices.
    • Maybe, just maybe, our elected legislators have our best interest in heart this time.

      The job of elected legislators is not to look after our best interests. It is to serve our stated interests.
    • I mean in this day, is anyone really more than a few hours away from an Indian casino? Do you really need 24/7 access to gambling?

      Playing poker online isn't the same as playing in a casino, for a few reasons:

      The strategy is different, because you can't see anyone's face.

      There are a lot more clueless players online (read: people you can win money from), because what kind of rookie is going to play poker at a casino when all those table games are placed more prominently and easier to get started with?

      In fact,

      • Don't know how much poker you have been playing lately, but unless you are playing 1/2 cent games, I don't think it's accurate to say that people who play poker online are weaker than those in casinos.

        Poker players in casinos are generally far worse than those that are commonly found online, not to mention, you can actually SEE how bad many of them are.

        The advantage isn't that you make more money per hand online, it is that you can make a small advantage into a lot of money because you have the ability to p
        • Don't know how much poker you have been playing lately, but unless you are playing 1/2 cent games, I don't think it's accurate to say that people who play poker online are weaker than those in casinos.

          Well, I'll bow to your experience, because I do play at the lowest stakes. I'm not a professional and I don't want to risk $50 at the casino when I could risk $10 online.
    • I mean in this day, is anyone really more than a few hours away from an Indian casino? Do you really need 24/7 access to gambling? It might be that the very few hours of distance is all that saves a lot of people from their self...

      I'd say the problem isn't really gambling but the way our society allows gambling to be performed.

      If you go into a bar and start slamming shots as fast as you can, the bartender has a responsibility to cut you off at some point.
      They say, "You've had enough, go home."

      No su
      • Sure whatever regulation you came up with might be inconvenient and imperfect, but at least someone wouldn't gamble away all their money in a single night.

        Since when should someone tell someone else what they should do with their money? Let them piss it all away in one night if they want. It's their money and they can do what they want to with it, be it giving it all away, spending it on gambling, using it as a downpayment on a house, or putting it into their savings or an IRA.

        • Since when should someone tell someone else what they should do with their money?

          Ever since humans came together to form societies, that's when.
          Or would you not mind if someone took a contract out on your life?

          Let them piss it all away in one night if they want. It's their money and they can do what they want to with it, be it giving it all away, spending it on gambling, using it as a downpayment on a house, or putting it into their savings or an IRA.

          Except that:
          A) You should care about the welfa
    • Hopefully after they ban gambling to save all the gambling "addicts", they will do something to save the poor sex addicts! I know you might like to have sex responsibly, but hey, you got to be forced to make that sacrifice for the sake of these victimized "addicts"! :)

      But seriously, there is easy access to gambling 24-7 anywhere in the United States. The only question is if it is easy access to LEGAL gambling, or easy access to ILLEGAL gambling. If your friends are too weak to not gamble, they are going to
    • Do you really need 24/7 access to gambling?
      Do you really need chocolate? This has nothing to do with need, it's about freedom to do what we want.

      many of them are there solely to rip you off of your hard earned dollars
      As are most businesses. The State rips off several orders of magnatitude more with the lottery than even the worst online casino game.

      I've seen many friends who have wrecked their lives with gambling, and have come damn close to wrecking my own.


      I'm sorry that you and many others lack the discip
    • You're right, if this bill passes I don't need to play $1 buy in tournaments online, since I can just drive [doe.gov] to the local indian casino and play $100 buy in tournaments instead. I'm glad the nice people in Congress are trying to stop me from losing money.
    • Sure, there are plenty of legitimate online gambling sites, but many of them are there solely to rip you off of your hard earned dollars, and often times people (unfortunately) cannot tell the difference.

      There are only a few things that should be banned. Murder, rape, etc. Banning something is usally going overboard. Most things that people want banned only need regulation.

      Imagine if instead of legislation to ban online casinos, they decide to regulate it. They could create a small commission who's pu
  • See also . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bblboy54 (926265) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:16AM (#15724091) Homepage
    See also: Prohibition [wikipedia.org].
  • by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:20AM (#15724100) Homepage
    The way I see it, the congress is worried about the billions of Dollars that's sipping out of the country. Online gambling will always be there, so if we don't want all the money to end up in hands of tropical islands, why not just vote for legalizing this industry instead?

    I doubt the republicans are doing this to "save us" from the evilness of gambling. After all, the vast majority of all Americans gamble responsively. Blaming the industry too much would be like blaming television for murderers becoming who they are (read: artificial violence). If people have a problem with spending money, it will end up in pockets of other people no matter what, simply because gambling is only one way to canal it.

    So once again, my point is, the US authorities should look at options of keeping as much of the industry within the US as possible instead of messing with peoples' habits and hobbies.
    • I like poker. I play well. I enjoy a "night out with the boys" now and again, and am willing to piss away a few bucks on beer and small-antes. I play to win, but when I lose it doesn't hurt me any ($50-$100 tops).

      I gamble responsibly.

      I had a roommate who played online poker about 18 hours a day. He was doing so well that at one point he quit his job (it wasn't a good job) and began living entirely off of his poker winnings.

      Then he had a bad week. Then he had a bad month. Then he admitted that not
    • I agree with you and disagree with you at the same time.

      The way I see it, the congress is worried about the billions of Dollars that's sipping out of the country.

      I disagree with you, and I think congress is more worried about upsetting the lobbyists that put money in their re-election campaigns. You know, the lobbyists that are paid for by the legal, standing structure casinos that the US already has a TON of? Remember, in congress, maintaining the 97% incumbency rate is job #1.

      I agree with everyth
    • I think that Congress is a tool of the brick-and-mortar casino lobby.

      Why go out to gamble when you can gamble online in the comfort of your own home? I think that the physical casinos are trying to use the government to axe their competition.

      It's typical 'big business likes big government because big government has the power to regulate and legislate in favor of big business and against the competition'. This is why we need to get more libertarians in office to limit the size, scope, and power of the govern
  • by dotwhynot (938895) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:30AM (#15724118)
    Jon Stewart on net neutrality and online gambling. [youtube.com]
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:32AM (#15724120)
    They want to put more and more Casinos in suburban areas and in the city of Philadelphia if I recall correctly (all this pushed by the former mayor of Philly Ed Rendell, a democrat, I believe). They talk about all these wonderful things it will bring it like jobs and more revenue. What the politicians don't mention loudly is that they are also proposing giving the casinos a big break on property taxes, that casinos have to make money to pay revenue (hint: it doesn't come from the good of their heart), and the crime rate going up. It's not like they're planning to put up a technology center or something positive.

    But this bill isn't about protecting people, it's about protecting revenue. Afterall, if you can sit in the comfort of your own home wasting your money on gambling, why go out and do state-sanctioned gambling (lottery tickets and casinos). What you can't tax, you ban.

    BTW, for gambling proponents endorsing building Casinos as a public good, just go to Atlantic City (hey, if you are a Senior Citizen, just take the bus for minimum cash, like $10, and they give you that and a little more back in slotmachine tokens - hell, you can probably cash your social security checks there too), and look at the streets directly behind the casinos. One street behind the Boardwalk, it becomes a total dump. All show, no substance.
  • by ad454 (325846) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:45AM (#15724132)
    All of the major card networks (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, etc.) in every region now have a strict policy that online gaming sites require a valid gaming/casino licence from the jurisdiction they are based in, and must specify the gaming merchant category code 7995 in every authorization request. Merchant banks that do not enforce this rule with their gaming merchants risk losing their card membership. No bank wants to loss its VISA or Mastercard membership. Card networks are also banning the use of quasi-cash merchants from being used to hide gaming transactions.

    If the US wants to stop its population from using online gaming sites, all that they have to do is dictate that the issuing banks in their country simply decline all authorization attempts which contain the 7995 category code. The US banks can also look at the merchant country codes, so that it can allow US based gaming sites like horse betting (which is legal in American but illegal in many countries) to be authorized, while still declining the overseas gaming sites.

    Problem solved, since the vast majority of people using any type of Internet commerce, including online gaming, pay directly or indirectly with their credit cards.

    I am sick and tired of politicians in one country expecting to regulate Internet activity of other countries, using broad extra-territorial legislation. This is impossible for online merchants and banks to enforce, especially since many countries have laws that contradict each other. Should we ban online sales of electronics globally, because they are illegal in North Korea? What about alcohol that is illegal in some Islamic countries? What about mediciations, mod chip, etc.? Even non-physical online software and services, including proxy agents, news & political websites, adult entertainment, etc. are banned in many countries.
    • online gaming sites require a valid gaming/casino licence from the jurisdiction they are based in

      And they are real hard to get in Panama, Sierra Leone, and Uzbekistan.

      I know you are American, but get a grip - credit cards and the internet are world wide.

      And anyone stupid enough to bet in circumstances where he is unable to detect whether he is playing against a computer that is programmed to cheat is probably doomed anyway. Why not send them to an asylum the moment the CIA monitoring shows they placed a

    • by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @07:34AM (#15724186)
      What's to stop U.S. citizens from simply transferring funds to an offshore bank or other financial entity that doesn't care about U.S. laws/regulations or gambling?

      Are citizens going to be prevented from transferring any money or holding any bank accounts outside the U.S.? How would they stop someone from simply mailing the funds as a money order or using a "shirea"(sp?)-type money transfer scheme?

      Short of requiring the government to exclusively handle all citizens' money, and outlaw *any* transfer of citizens' money outside U.S. financial control, I see no way they can possibly prevent them gambling online, or even collect enough data to prosecute them for doing so.

      Of course, one could put on his tinfoil hat and argue that this is a step in the direction of the government seizing (more) direct control of citizens' money.

      Myself, I just think it's another short-sighted lawmaking exercise that will end up curtailing freedoms and hurting the U.S. economy with more regulatory and enforcement costs while not actually accomplishing the goals that are espoused for it's passage, something that the U.S. government is legendary for.

      Cheers!

      Strat
      • What is to stop people from doing that indeed.

        On the other hand, you cannot deny that that hurts the creditors by willfully disregarding the agreement by which the credit is extended. Why should the lenders be forced to provide a loan for which the money will be spent without collecting any collatoral whatsoever? Now I can see this also applying to other kinds of purchases, consumeables for instance, but the banks seem to have decided that there is something different about those purchases. Perhaps it ha
    • Ok - but you realize banks risk losing their licenses to operate visa/mastercard etc. businesses by declining proper transactions from licensed merchants ?
  • While the government is good at stopping large financial transfers, it's lousy at stopping small ones. So if they really want to crack down on gambling, they'll have to go directly after the ads too.

    But if you can't run gambling ads, I think a lot of current and potential future sports information sites will be in trouble. There are only so many retro jerseys their advertisers can sell ...

    Odd though it may sound, the big losers from a real crackdown on internet gambling might be fantasy sports players.

    And
    • The only barely relevant difference between lottery tickets and online (or cellphone-based) gambling is accessibility and the rate at which your money can disappear on you. Imagine the guy who is up a 2:00am at a gas station 30 minutes outside of Tulsa. He decides to buy a lottery ticket. Scratch and Lose. Okay, maybe another one? Goes over, the clerk hands him another possible winner. Another loss. The guy eventually decides that going in and saying "Bet it all" and maxing out his credit card on Scr
    • And nobody's explained to me why internet gambling is worse than lottery tickets, which are just another tax on the poor and uneducated, and are actually promoted by government-funded advertising.

      Because in the lottery, when a player loses the State gets to keep the money. When an online player loses, somebody else gets to keep the money: in most cases, someone in another country that isn't even paying taxes to any of our various governments. And since Americans have only so much disposable income (and b
  • Takers? (Score:3, Funny)

    by leipzig3 (528671) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @07:55AM (#15724220)
    I'll offer 2 to 1 that by this time next year, this industry will be even larger than the 12 billion it is now. Takers?
    • Those are great odds and if you were a bookie you'd be out of business in no time. You need to offer less than Evens on a bet like this because there are only two possible outcomes.

      I'll have $10 please.
  • Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Mutant (167716) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @08:15AM (#15724246) Homepage
    Whenever governments try to block capital flows from consumers to producers, money finds a way. Albeit, with some friction, but it gets there in the end.

    This reminds me of the invention of Swaps; a financial instrument originally devised by banks as a means to provide a service helping multinationals circumvent capital controls imposed by the British Government [google.com] (warning: PDF).

    I can see the formation of off shore entities that will sell a "service" to US consumers. Whatever the the facade (e.g., email, picture viewing, etc) of this service, the real purpose will be to enable US based consumers of online gambling to move offshore; by paying for the "service" the cash is then off governments radar.

    Visit your favourite on-line gambling site and the funds you used to purchase the "service" are now magically available, minus some "friction", of course, to fund your gambling. Later another "service" would be used to repatriate funds back into the US.

    There are loads of other mechanisms I can think of to get around this stupid law. Of course the government will find it necessary to establish policing actions to find / stop this avoidance, thus screwing the taxpayer a second time ("No, you CANT gamble online AND you have to pay me to make sure you DONT gamble online)".

    Another reason I'm glad I don't live and pay taxes there anymore.
    • Domestic Casinos are regulated. The states with casinos have "Gaming Commissions" to keep the casinos (more or less) honnest. When you go to a Nevada casino, you know that the Nevada Gaming Commission has examined the slots and certified the dealers and operators. If a casino is consistantly fraudulant, the Gaming Commission will shut it down and put the criminals in jail. You have no such assurance online. Additionally, on-line games are easier to rig than physical games. You can watch a dealer and see the
      • When you go to a Nevada casino, you know that the Nevada Gaming Commission has examined the slots and certified the dealers and operators. If a casino is consistantly fraudulant, the Gaming Commission will shut it down and put the criminals in jail.

        Or they'll take bribes.

        There might be some honnest on-line casinos, but you can never be sure.

        You can never be sure *any* casino is honest. But PartyPoker and PokerStars and others live and die by their reputation. They can rake in millions running fair tables, a
  • The governments will have to make a deal with the inline gaming industry, in the same way the alcohol and porn industries have done. There is too much money in the industry and the user base has the broad spread of demographics to make any politician beat a fast retreat.
  • Anyone wanna bet if this legislation goes through? I'll put down $10 right now that it doesn't! Any takers?
  • take a piece (Score:3, Insightful)

    by duffbeer (114852) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @09:47AM (#15724380)
    Folks, one hell of a lot of people like playing poker and gambling on the internet. Unfortunately, the rake from those games is ALL going offshore. Take note that this bill made it through the house but is not going to be matched in the senate.

    This is just a warm-up. Legalizing online gambling so the feds and US corps can get their cut is the real goal. Ask yourself: why aren't the major US gaming corporations being extremely vocal on this issue?

    Once again, The Right brings up an issue to legislate on moral grounds (gaining votes) only to collect behind the scenes (gaining $$$) when they later fulfill the interests of the corporations.
    • You are speaking under the assumption that legalized gambling is "immoral". It may be "wrong" for the "Right" to pretend to be against online gambling, but there is absolutly nothing wrong with U.S. companies running gambling websites. People have the right to do whatever they want with their money, so long as they aren't doing physical harm to others. Even assuming that gambling is somehow "bad" for society (which it isn't), better that people gamble legaly in the safety on an online casino than in some ba
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @10:20AM (#15724460) Homepage Journal
    So all the online gamblers switch to day trading [google.com] , which is entirely legal, with the inevitable result of a total f**k up of the US sharemarket.
    • Don't forget that all non-long-term stock-market investments are a zero-sum game. Actually, less-than-zero as there are taxes and fees involved. Any profit produced comes either from someone who lost that much, or from the Ponzi effect.
  • When Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act, it made spam extinct, disappeared from every inbox. Now they'll wave a magic law and the world's online gambling compulsion will also disappear. The US is always much safer when Intarwebs experts like Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) [alternet.org] are protecting us from evil.
    >/SNARK<

    Of course that law is BS. It won't even stop outed Republican hypocrites like Bill Bennett [google.com] from gambling. It will get Christaliban to pull the lever (or touch the screen) for Republicans this November, a
    • If you think Bill Bennett is a hypocrite, you are necessarily arguing from the position that gambling is immoral, an argument that Bennett himself didn't actually make.

      It is an interesting logical exercise to condemn a man as hypocritical for engaging in an activity which others think is immoral on the basis that he is some kind of morality advocate.
  • A lot of people seem to think that since this internet gambling is hosted overseas, that therefore these companies are immune from the legal consequences of a US law. Not true. A State Attorney General or a Federal Prosecutor could bring a lawsuit against the company in the United States and gain jurisdiction over the company since it is doing business in the US. Once it has obtained a judgment in the U.S., the prevailing party would contact the government where the company is physically located and noti
    • "...execute on the US judgment in the foreign country..."

      But there are countries that won't honour US judgements and in fact even won't extradite criminals!

      Cuba and The Dominican Republic are but two that come immediately to mind. I'd be surprised if Russia or Venezuela would rush to honor any US civil judgement, and Middle Eastern countries? Not a chance.

      And as laws change these companies will move about, away from more restrictive regulatory enviromments to domains where enforcement is lax. You see this
    • In terms of online gaming, the U.S. has tried to do what you mentioned, and is usually told in more legalistic terms to fuck off. In the same way the U.S. wouldn't extradite Yahoo employees or hand over Yahoo's U.S. assets to China if Yahoo happened to violate Chinese censorship laws, in countries where online casinos are perfectly legal, there is no way they are going to shut down that revenue source.

      You might have taken legal action against a foriegn company for something that was illegal in both countrie
  • I applaud our government for getting tough on these criminal activites.

    I know that some of you may think that it is your right to do what you wish with your money. But should we really have rights that could be harmful to some who excercise them? Hopefully this is only the first of recent steps that will lead to the elimination of wasteful and dangerous pass times from this nation.

    Understandably, some would argue that there are many more things in this country that are dangerous. And I agree, these in ti
  • It sounds like any UK based gambling operation will have to be doubly careful. Non-British slashdot readers may not be aware of the Natwest three [bbc.co.uk] case. Three British bankers have just been extratited to the US under a new "anti-terrorism" fast track extradition treaty. It has been alledged they carried out a fraud in the UK in connection with the Enron case. They've not been charged in the UK, no law was broken on US territory, the US had to provide a lower standard of evidence to carry out the extradition
  • by mark-t (151149) <{markt} {at} {lynx.bc.ca}> on Saturday July 15, 2006 @01:25PM (#15725015) Journal
    Consider... if all the online gambling companies move out of the US, how does the USA enforce their laws when the companies knowingly do transactions with people in the US?

    Obviously, the only thing to do is to somehow catch it when American-based credit card companies are exchanging funds between an American and an online gambling company.

    But how do you tell if the company is an online gambling company or not?

    Well, the credit card companies might know, but if a company is overseas it's entirely possible that the CC company might not know all the details of the business. It may be listed with the CC company as a business that does something else entirely, and not even necessarily be lying about it (since the last time I checked, CC companies only want to know what is a merchant's _primary_ business, not all of the details behind every single transaction they ever do).

    So... how do you tell if any particular CC transaction is connected to online gambling or not?

    Ultimately, you can't. So the only thing left to do at this point is to impose fines on any and all credit card transactions with businesses other countries, regardless of what business they are actually in.

    I don't use online gambling sites myself, but I am _SO_ curious to see how this whole thing plays out.... (like a traffic accident, you can't look away, even when you want to).

  • What is up with the recent explosion in poker-related TV advertising, "celebrity poker" shows and poker spam?

    Back during the cold war I remember hearing that the communists were playing chess (long-term strategy) while the US was playing poker (fake-out the sucker).
    • What is up with the recent explosion in poker-related TV advertising, "celebrity poker" shows and poker spam?

      Hole-card cameras, which turned poker into a spectator sport.

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin

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