Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Online Gambling Bill Passed in House 170

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the place-your-bets dept.
rkcallaghan writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the House passed a measure that makes it illegal for banks in the US to handle online gambling transactions." There's still no such move in the Senate, but it's a step towards banning online gambling nonetheless. Since this bill isn't expected to affect the usual, legal ways of gambling domestically, one wonders if such legislation would be sought after, were online gambling to be headquartered here in the states, rather than overseas.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Online Gambling Bill Passed in House

Comments Filter:
  • Legitimate Business? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:20AM (#16258627) Journal
    The new gambling provision is not expected to affect gambling at tracks or casinos.
    That's right, gambling at tracks and casinos will be restricted to our nation's poorest areas, with the exception of Nevada. Indeed, something is rotten in the states of Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi, New Jersey ... all states with gambling in poor areas. It simply baffles me because if this was a legitimate business, the sensible person would allow it to thrive in a large city or everywhere. So, by these restrictions and odd placements, it's quite obvious that everyone knows gambling is detrimental to the populace and only promotes Pareto Law.

    Does anyone else question why gambling can only happen out in the middle of nowhere or in places where the a lot of the populace lives below the poverty line? Is there a correlation between these or is it causation?

    I'm from the mid-west and if you drive out to South Dakota, there'll be multi-million dollar casinos out in the middle of nowhere. Why aren't they in DC or New York City? It just doesn't make sense to me.


    I just don't understand things like slots where they show you the payouts right in front of you and they're not in your favor. Maybe I'm just more statistical than other people but I've only been gambling once like that. Poker, on the other hand, can be fun and social. It also has a clear cut 0 sum (aside from the rake) outcome for the players -- which is nice.

    And I don't want to hear any of this Native American loophole crap because there's an act for that enacted by our Federal Government. They control it in the end -- I don't buy it that it's affirmative action for the Native peoples. None of this "The Indians stole my money BS" because the government controls where it happens and takes their own cut through taxes.

    I don't think gambling needs to be abolished because it is, in fact, fun for people. In moderation, it probably makes you feel good -- just like drinking or tobacco. But when you sit down and do the math, people are raking in cash. Why doesn't the government enforce something like a maximum 5% take by the house? What I mean is that I'm sure the house is making on average something like 10-15% so why doesn't the government tax them back to 5% or allow the casino to give back to the local community through donations of this excess or building of community buildings? This isn't going to solve the social problems but I've heard that the tribe running Mystic Lake in Minnesota rakes in millions per member quarterly. I know a lot of them hand it out to members of their tribe but I don't know if that money is spent on things that necessarily benefit the community.

    I am truly baffled when it comes to the history of gambling.
    • by malsdavis (542216) *
      "I don't think gambling needs to be abolished because it is, in fact, fun for people. In moderation, it probably makes you feel good -- just like drinking or tobacco."

      The Alcohol and Tobacco industries arn't built on a central pillar of trying to effectively con people out of money though. Sure, it can make people happier but to sustain the industry it is a simple fact that far more people must be made unhappy to make those few happy.

      Also, as tobacco is bad, it come with a large amount of health warnings, a
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TubeSteak (669689)
        Alcohol, tobacco & gambling are the trifecta of 'sin' activities that are taxed.

        If Congress could figure out a way to tax all online gambling winnings, they'd do it in a heartbeat. (Specifically winnings paid out by companies outside the U.S.A.)

        I wrote a longer post [slashdot.org] in a previous discussion on online gambling. I also discussed how alcohol prohibition is very similar to this 'ban' on online gambling.

        Alcohol, tobacco & gambling will not go away unless the tax revenues can be made up elsewhere.
        • by malsdavis (542216) *
          "Alcohol, tobacco & gambling are the trifecta of 'sin' activities that are taxed."

          Whatever happened to the USA being a secular government?
          The way the entire online gambling discussion is given such a priority in the federal government, despite being extremely trivial compared to the many more important issues facing the USA, shows that the fundamentalists are still in control.

          • Remember when renaming french fries in the cafeteria was more important than debating war? I don't think it's an issue of fundamentalists being in control. It's career politicians who care most about their image (and yet have no concept of what the people really think) that are the problem. When the democrats are in control they're only slightly better.
            • by malsdavis (542216) *
              I suppose your right. Most of the fundamentalist style decisions made that I can think of off the top of my head do seem opportunistic rather than idealistic.

              I guess thats a good thing. Just.

      • by truthsearch (249536) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:41AM (#16258789) Homepage Journal
        Are you serious? Every casino I've ever been in posts the odds at every game except poker (which would be impossible anyway). It's quite clear that your chances of winning are small and they're stated quite specifically. Slots are among the most popular "games" at casinos and the odds for every combination are laid right out there for you. I've never met a single person who thought they had a good statistical chance of winning at a casino. The rush people get is from winning when they know the odds of it happening are so slim!

        And what makes you consider gambling at a casino a con? All of the rules of every game are quite clear. You can read books about them. The casino tells you exactly how much they get to keep at each game.
        • by rtb61 (674572)
          It is a con. For it to be gambling, the casino should be sharing the same odds, otherwise it is just probability fraud rather than gambling. When everybody shares the same odds, then it is gambling, when one person tilts the odds in their favour, that's called cheating.

          So rather than attempting to ban gambling they should just enforce a fair and equal chance in the odds, they lets see how many casino etc. want to keep their doors open when they a sharing the same odds as the mug punters they are trying to

      • by symbolic (11752) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @01:58PM (#16259875)
        he Alcohol and Tobacco industries arn't built on a central pillar of trying to effectively con people out of money though.

        I have to disagree with this - these industries are constantly trying to con you out of money by making you think that you will gain a more desirable social status by using their products. It has, and is, one of the biggest, and ongoing con games that exist. And the deadliest - remember those billions of dollars that the tobacco industry lost in the suit filed against it, wasn't the result of its charity work - it was the result of a decades-long campaign to engage in calculated and deceitful advertising that conned millions of people into believing that smoking cigarettes neither addictive nor unhealthy.
    • NIMBY (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      Does anyone else question why gambling can only happen out in the middle of nowhere or in places where the a lot of the populace lives below the poverty line? Is there a correlation between these or is it causation?
      It's the Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY)syndrome

      Rich people have enough clout to say NIMBY when it comes to Casinos, powerplants, garbage dumps or pretty much any other item that could bring with it social negatives.
    • One explanation about why people gamble is that they get some entertainment in exchange for their statistically predictable losses. Another is variable-interval variable-ratio conditioning (look it up -- powerful stuff).

      (Statistical losses are worse than they appear: winnings are taxable, losses aren't deductible except to offset winnings).

      Gambling establishments aren't guaranteed a living because of the money people lose. High rollers have to be attracted with expensive comps. The house edge [insidervlv.com] is all over th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cutriss (262920)
      Indeed, something is rotten in the states of Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi, New Jersey ... all states with gambling in poor areas.

      Don't talk about things you don't know about.

      In Mississippi, the vast majority of the casinos were put up on the coast in the more populated areas of the region. I suppose you could say that they're the "poor areas" now that the entire coast has been bushwhacked, but no - there are *WAY* poorer areas than Biloxi, which was probably the fourth or fifth largest city in th
    • by omeomi (675045)
      Does anyone else question why gambling can only happen out in the middle of nowhere or in places where the a lot of the populace lives below the poverty line? Is there a correlation between these or is it causation?

      I live in Illinois, and I wouldn't say that's the case here. While Chicago doesn't have a casino (yet...they've been talking about it for years), most of the towns that do have them also have relatively thriving economies. Many of them are Chicago suburbs, like Elgin and Aurora. There are ot
      • Actually, there's some degree of legalized gambling machines as well, which requires a license. And there's OTB/racetrack betting as well. So not all of Illinois gambling takes place on the water, just the casino style gambling.

        And hell, the Little Egypt region (where there seems to be a fair amount of access to riverboat gambling in Illinois) isn't just where the gambling related tourism is, but much of Illinois' tourism period. Pretty good tourist economy with the bed and breakfasts, "outdoor recreation

        • by omeomi (675045)
          And hell, the Little Egypt region (where there seems to be a fair amount of access to riverboat gambling in Illinois) isn't just where the gambling related tourism is, but much of Illinois' tourism period.

          Huh, I've lived in Illinois for 27 years, and never heard of Little Egypt [wikipedia.org]. Interesting. Is there really a lot of tourism down there? I would have thought the vast majority of Illinois tourism is centered around Chicago...
          • Huh, I've lived in Illinois for 27 years, and never heard of Little Egypt. Interesting. Is there really a lot of tourism down there?

            Huge amount. As I mentioned most of Illinois' wineries and vinyards are located here (and Illinois wine is actually very fine stuff, most of the vinyards have won international and national winetasting competitions) and there are organized "wine trail" tours between them. It's a fairly big business. Then there's the gambling. We also have a lot of large parks and lakes, incl

    • by LilGuy (150110)
      Driving out to South Dakota is worse than sitting on a hot cattle iron. I grew up there myself, and I tell you, the casinos are an amazing break from the drab flat field after endless field. :P But in all honesty, the reason Deadwood is such a run down little dump is probably because the only people that live there that DON'T work in the casinos, blow all their money in them.

      Also South Dakota has a few reservations... so that also makes a lot of sense.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ibag (101144)

      I just don't understand things like slots where they show you the payouts right in front of you and they're not in your favor

      Well, there are a few issues at play. First, many people don't understand statistics, or even believe that playing at a slot machine for several turns make the next turn more likely to win. Second, some people enjoy risk and uncertainty, and find it exciting or addicting to gamble for the sake of gambling. For these people, the payoff is enough.

      Third, and most important, is people'

    • From what I've seen in these "poor" areas, the local poor people are working there, while the gamblers are generally tourist. Of course local poor also attempt to gamble some, but people who are compulive gamblers are going to find ways to throw away to gamble away their money, casino or no. But large casinos simply couldn't maintain profitability very long on the backs of a small poor community.
    • by sethstorm (512897) *
      Why aren't they in DC or New York City? It just doesn't make sense to me.
      There's gambling aplenty in NYC, it's done at Wall Street. They dont want competition.
    • by vtcodger (957785)
      ***I am truly baffled when it comes to the history of gambling.***

      Well, part of that is because you do not seem to understand the legal status of Indians and Indian Reservations. For the most part, the reservations are the result of treaties between the Indians and the US and/or state governments. Although the reservations are within states, they are for the most part not subject to state laws. For example, an Indian living on his reservation is not subject to state income tax from income earned on the

      • In general, they way it worked was that the tracts of land that were the least desirable (poorest soil, no resources, no access to valuable commercial waterways, etc.) were turned into reservations and then the tribes were moved there. Typically the best land was taken by settlers by force and those already living there were herded up on to the land nobody else really wanted.
    • by Llywelyn (531070)
      "something is rotten in the states of Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi, New Jersey ... all states with gambling in poor areas"

      Question, do you know where Harrah's casino is located in New Orleans, LA?
    • by Usagi_yo (648836)
      I'm tossed between yes and no. There is whole lot I can write here, as I play poker for spare income and have since the late 80's. Gambling is a hobby and passion of mine, but I'm not talking about the thrill of risk / reward or the adrenaline from action. My thrill is finding the overlays + managing a bankroll + spending the 3-4% in expecation per unit bet. It takes hard work and grit and determination for me to maintain that expecation, and alas I'm probably at my peak with little likelyhood of advanc
      • by flumps (240328)
        Don't gamble online. ---- PERIOD

        What a crock of shit. Thats the lamest argument I've ever heard for not gambling. Sure, talk about addiction and debt etc etc etc but "don't bet online cause its disreputable" is bollocks. I work for an online gambling company (Victor Chandler), and they are no more or less reputable than any other business on the internet. In fact your money is safer with us than in most banks, we take fraud and other things very seriously. You can pay money in, and take it out of your o
      • Don't gamble online. ---- PERIOD

        How about the real advice -> Don't gamble -- PERIOD.

        However if you must, wtf is the difference between gambling at a casino or online? Only difference I can see is that when it's online, you aren't giving taxes to the goverment.

        btw, how do you feel about the money laundering that goes through a US casino? You talk about shady off shore corporations (wtf? Party Poker is publicly traded!), yet you forget how shady your home-brewed online casinos are.
  • Who is pushing this (Score:4, Informative)

    by rs232 (849320) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:20AM (#16258631)
    Is it the gambling casinos in the states. How much money is beig channeled through the lobby system in Washington.
    • Is it the gambling casinos in the states. How much money is beig channeled through the lobby system in Washington.
      Wonder if any money is actually needed.... they casino reps only need to sidle up to them and point out "We're in the state and provide jobs, tax incomes etc. On-line gambling gets you nothing, Do you really want that?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MarkusQ (450076)

      Is it the gambling casinos in the states?

      Yes in for the Indian tribes. And no [game-culture.com] for Vegas. Could well be a tough cop/nice cop routine, if you believe they're more connected that generally admitted.

      How much money is being channeled through the lobby system in Washington?

      At least $85 million [wikipedia.org], that we know of. Not all on this issue, but much of it aimed at keeping out competition. Most likely, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

      --MarkusQ

    • by jhines (82154)
      The Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal is all about Indian (native american) lobbying on capital hill. There is a LOT of money involved.

      Not only that but many states have lotteries or other forms of gambling as revenue.

      And the horse racing industry wants to allow betting at remote tracks and the like.

      There are many fingers in the no on-line gambling pie, all trying to preserve their piece they got now.
  • I got this email, and ended up losing all my money. Here's [flopturnriver.com] the story
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by malsdavis (542216) * on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:22AM (#16258645)
    I have never understood why the USA government is so against online gambling. I'm not saying they should or shouldn't allow it but it has always seemed odd to me that when some of the US states have amongst the most liberal gambling laws in the world, the federal government should be so keen on stopping internet gambling.

    The sceptic in me wonders if some of the rich US casino owners don't have a hand in this, my only guess is that the casino owners are worried about gamblers using overseas websites in tax-haven countries that offer better odds maybe?

    • I have never understood why the USA government is so against online gambling.

      For the last 20 years or so there has been a massive movement toward local and state government sponsorship of gambling. It is often referred to as a "lottery." Sometimes it's "Indian Casino Gambling." No matter how you slice it, the state governments get revenues from these deals, either directly or indirectly. Given that during that same 20 year period, Americans have become increasingly opposed to taxes, the scramble for rev

      • As far as I can tell, the only real reason fed. govt. has been concerned about off-shore gambling sites is because they have no way of regulating them to ensure they do, in fact, operate the games as stated.

        If gambling is done on U.S. soil, it's possible to send in government regulators to verify that the posted odds really are correct, to place daily betting limits, and other such rules. They can't realistically put any such controls on some web site running in a foreign country.

        And how fair is it to let
        • by malsdavis (542216) *
          "Realistically, taxation itself discourages hard work, education and wise investing, if we follow your line of thought."

          This neo-con line is kind of disproven though by the fact that the Scandinavian countries (along with much of northern Europe) are always at the very top end of producitvity per capita and GDP per capita indexes despite having amongst the proportionally highest taxation rates in the world (often around 50% for many). As a result of the high taxation though they also get to be at the very t
      • by raehl (609729)
        Siphoning money from the poorest members of society to pay for budget shortfalls the rest of the public is unwilling to support makes much more sense

        s/poor/stupid/g

        Losing your money gambling is a result of being stupid.* It is not surprising that stupid people also tend to be poor people.

        Some people are poor due to unfortunate circumstances. Others are poor because they deserve it.

        (* Some people lose money gambling as a recreational expense, and there's nothing wrong with taxing that, either.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      I have never understood why the USA government is so against online gambling.
      They can't tax it.

      Seriously, that's the entire answer.

      • by TopShelf (92521)
        It's also a conveniently moralistic issue to push during campaign season. Lots of "family values" types out there to stem the tide of gambling abuse, and also stop the dreaded terrorists from funneling money through these unregulated channels.
    • by Rotten168 (104565)
      I have never understood why the USA government is so against online gambling.

      Because they need to appeal to their brainless goober Christian fundamentalist redneck trailer trash constituency.
      • by Stickerboy (61554)
        >>I have never understood why the USA government is so against online gambling.

        >Because they need to appeal to their brainless goober Christian fundamentalist redneck trailer trash constituency.


        I have to say, there ARE more of them then the Microsoft-hating, copyright-infringing, slovenly geeks/internet tough guys with no social life and living in their parent's basement Slashdot constituency. So it just makes good sense for a politician to pander to them instead.

        Plus, their womenfolk are prettier
  • Title is misleading (Score:3, Informative)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:24AM (#16258665)
    Online gambling is already illegal in the U.S.

    Companies got around that restriction by moving offshore, since the Internet makes it easy to do business anywhere in the world. The purpose of this law is not to actually outlaw online gambling, but to close a loophole by not allowing U.S. banks to be involved in it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by terrymr (316118) *
      Online betting on sporting events is illegal in the US. Casino games currently are not illegal to play online. Go research it, the case that decided this was appealed all the way to the supreme court I believe.
    • by terrymr (316118) *
      In addition enforcing any ban on onine gambling is in violation of our WTO trade obligations (an organization we invented). We agreed to allow international trade in gambling services years ago and only relatively recently tried to claim that we didn't mean to sign up for that. International treaties are second only to the constitution it terms of legal standing, so our obligations cannot be changed by our own statutes.

      • by jonbryce (703250)
        The WTO rules are supposed to mean that you treat foreign companies in the same way that you treat your own.

        If you don't allow american companies to do online gambling, and as a sovereign government, you should be allowed to make that decision, then it is perfectly reasonable not to allow offshore companies to do it either.
        • by terrymr (316118) *
          Ok - but we allow online lotteries and bets on horse races ... both such markets are closed to foreign companies. That is the problem ... that and the fact we didn't seek an exemption to the gambline related provisions when we signed the treaty, so as a sovreign nation we agreed to permit it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mark-t (151149)
      And just how do they propose that US banks be able to discern that any particular international transaction is actually due to online gambling so they can reject it?
    • Sorry, the Feds keep saying that online gambling is illegal (due to the Wire Act), but no one has ever been prosecuted for it (sports betting aside, as the Wire Act clearly applies to that). see a link here: linky [playwinningpoker.com] for some more info. Simply put, no one has been prosecuted, so the best you can say is that certain people say it is illegal but have chosen to enforce it. A more reasonable point of view upon researching it is that no one has been prosecuted because the prosecutors are aware that they would prob
    • Which will result in companies investing in a further level of obscurity, meaning that they'll have front companies with innocuous names that will allow them to launder the money involved in gambling. Which will make things even less taxable. All the US government is doing is pushing themselves further and further out of the loop, rather than jumping on a golden opportunity to tax the hell out of it.
  • by Toby The Economist (811138) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:30AM (#16258713)
    It is a violation of personal liberty for the State to forceably intervene in citizen's lives in this way.

    Gambling is a personal activity which, when not abused, harms no one else.

    You do not outlaw an entire activity from ALL people because it can be abused; you simply take steps to deal with the problem of abusive.

    The only justification for *forceable* intervention in another individual's life is *self-defence*.

    This principle is the very antithisis of Big Government.

    We pay tax through our noses for other people to progressively control our lives.
    • by rhsanborn (773855)
      Seat belt law?
      • by mike2R (721965)

        Seat belt law?

        A fair point.

        Personally I agree with mandatory seatbelts and disagree with banning gambling. My justification would be something like this:

        Mandatory seatbelts save lives - the evidence is clear that when madatory seatbelts are introduced, many more people survive car accidents.

        You could equally say the same thing about gambling - banning gambling will reduce the very real problems that some people have.

        BUT gambling, for many people is a pleasurable occasional passtime, if you ban the

        • by yndrd1984 (730475)

          Mandatory seatbelts save lives - the evidence is clear that when madatory seatbelts are introduced, many more people survive car accidents.

          You'd have an excellent point, except for the fact that it (apparently) isn't true [wikipedia.org].

          If you can come up with a reason why not wearing a seatbelt could be beneficial, then I might well change my opinion, at least for tha[t] specific case

          Delivering papers? I delivered several hundred papers a day when I was in college, and the usual method would be to stop at one block,

          • by stinerman (812158)
            You'd have an excellent point, except for the fact that it (apparently) isn't true.
            I won't debate whether it is true or not. The overriding point of the matter is that not wearing a seat belt does not increase the risk of injury to other drivers in any real way. It is my right to be as safe or as unsafe as I want to be when doing anything that is of no risk or consequence to anyone else.
          • by mike2R (721965)
            That wikipedia seems to assert that while seatbelts certainly reduce fatalities, maybe people have more accidents when they are wearing seatbelts because they feel safer, and this might cancel it out. It provide no citeations to support this. That artical links to this more detailed one [wikipedia.org] which is one of the most once sided opinion pieces I've seen on Wikipedia. The top post on the talk page [wikipedia.org] is titled "This Artical is a Mess" and has a reply to it that sums it up better than I could:

            Most of article is the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 955301 (209856)
        automobiles alltogether are a flaw. People shouldn't be driving cars to get places w/o much cargo, and the government shouldn't be spending so much on highways. The public transit systems should be far better and expansive - PRT's, light rail and heavy rails. Not automobiles. They are a bad solution.

        There, no seatbelts necessary.
      • by Eccles (932)
        Seat belts keep the driver behind the wheel, and the front passenger from flying into the driver, and thus the driver is capable of keeping a minor accident into a major one. (Just watch a NASCAR race for examples of this, admittedly by drivers far better than the general population.) Note that seat belt laws only apply to people in the front seat and (with car seat law) those too young to decide for themselves.

    • It is a violation of personal liberty for the State to forceably intervene in citizen's lives in this way.

      Gambling is a personal activity which, when not abused, harms no one else.


      Indeed. You are perfectly free to go and gamble online and transfer money via PayPal, e-gold, Swiss banks, money orders, hawala, cash in a white sheet of paper in the mail, etc. after the game is over.

      What was passed was "a measure that makes it illegal for banks in the US to handle online gambling transactions". Not "a measure th
    • Gambling is a personal activity which, when not abused, harms no one else.

      I believe that gambling, as well alcohol, nicotine, guns and organised religion, harms a lot of people. It destroys more than a few lives. Millions have been caught up in the backdraft from hardcore gamblers going critical.

      On the other hand, I realise I really don't have the right to judge the opinions and decisions of grown adults. If someone wants to gamble, drink, smoke, go to church or whatever, why should I try and stop them. The

      • > You're accepting these things on the basis that most people who partkae
        > in this new activity are not going to harm society.

        Not *quite* - the view I have is to consider if an activity will cause harm to other *people*.

        Society is a whole 'nother kettle of fish - not least of which is the question "what is society?" and the question "who decides what's good or bad for society, whatever it is?"

        When you pin the question down to harm to *people*, it becomes a lot more clear cut.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zippthorne (748122)
      My mind was actually changed on seat-belt law by another slashdotter. I had been thinking in terms of personal liberty, and the exceedingly rare odds that a ballistic corpse would strike a living person.

      However the argument that changed my mind was this: the seatbelt helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle, which is a critical factor in the scope of an accident. Without a seatbelt, it is very likely that you WILL lose control of the vehicle in a severe accident. Requiring seatbelts for drivers i
  • According to this article [latimes.com] , the Republicans in congress attached a measure to install radiation detectors in U.S. Ports and pushed it through early this morning. It is now awaiting Bush's signature.

    Hopefully, this will backfire in November.

    --
    Last Minute Games On Capital Hill [apathy.net]
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:38AM (#16258763) Homepage Journal
    That's nothing. This same House just passed the Theocracy Protection Act [washingtonpost.com], and the Torture Lover Act [google.com].

    Grand Inquisitor Abu Gonzales will now have the option of torturing you when god tells him you're bluffing.
    • There's are lots and lots (and lots) of well eductated, moderate, intelligent posters on Slashdot (no its true!) who realise their rights are being progressively infringed upon, and taken away. But unfortunately the sheeple populating a good chunk of the US still provides your president with ~ 30% approval rating. Its scary the % of the population willing to give the great leader (tm) a blank cheque in terms of executive power.

      I can only equate the last ~ 5 years of political discourse in the US as the p
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        In a month, on TUE November 7, 2006, Americans can vote whether to fire their Representative in the House, and probably half their Senators, too.

        Here's how your Representative voted for Theocracy Protection [house.gov] (unless they're a Democrat, in which case they probably voted against it).
        Here's how your Representative voted for torture [house.gov] (unless they're a Democrat, in which case they probably voted against it).

        Here's how your Senators voted for torture [senate.gov] (unless they're a Democrat, in which case they probably voted aga
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:38AM (#16258767)
    ...a zillion of ignorant posts get modded +5.

    1. The bill is a joke. Here is why:
    - It makes a clear difference between ONLINE gambling & gambling, without realising that the first has way more safety nets to deal with the two main problems - underage gambling & gambling addicts.
    - It makes a difference between sports gambling, poker & "wagering on horses", which is of course fine.
    - It is a protectionist bill, against current WTO decisions that banning an activity is ok ONLY if you apply the same rules to domestic & foreign operators.
    - It forbids US citizens an activity under a moral pretext(which fails on the 2 points above) or on the grounds of "money is getting out of the country". If US people feel ok being forbidden doing something because of that, I suggest next time you want to visit another country you hold on it. I'm sure postponing my next US visit for unforseeable future.

    2. This bill will NOT work. Here is why:
    - Unfortunately for the US, it has NOT power whatsoever. Bookies will find many new ways of moving the money around.
    - The Bill has an excempt on banning transactions to e-wallet companies, ergo, this is a HUUUUGE loophole as you'll still have no problem using your funds trough an intermediare.
    - There is no possible way for ISP's to block access to gambling sites, not with the current development of technology.

    3. What will happen?
    - It will get SLIGHTLY more difficult for the after dinner poker mums to enjoy the game they like, but they'd still be able to do it.
    - We'd get AT LEAST on case of a high profile offshore player being sued under the RICO act OR by the IRS(much more likely), however it'll be presented as a victory for the new legislation.

    Will post more if I think of something.
  • Why wonder? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @11:49AM (#16258841) Homepage Journal
    >one wonders if such legislation would be sought after, were online gambling to be headquartered here in the states

    I live in a state with an online gambling ban, a remarkably repressive one.

    The state senator who introduced the bill had, as her top campaign contributors, offline gambling enterprises.

    (flame)This happens all the time, businesses buying legislation to put competitors in prison. It's just that it usually happens in Third World countries.(/flame)
  • Remind me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geoff lane (93738) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @12:05PM (#16258927)
    ...exactly how well did prohibition work last time?
    • by DarkOx (621550)
      Actually dispite the popular feelings toward the subject prohibition worked wonders. Rates of Marrige partner abuse and child abuse declined by something like 50% durring the period. The poverty rate also trended down, although its harder to tie that directly to prohibition. Yes it did creat some oppertunities for criminals but I don't think its fair to say that organized crime would not have found other sources of income and gotten just as bad without prohibition; maybe maybe not.

      If we had a temporary p
  • well the ones we have left, anyway.
  • Now no more online gambling will occur in the States! The money will instead be spent overseas. Hooray!

    Wait, what?
  • A number of States allow you to buy a year's worth of lottery numbers online, VA for instance.

    Wouldn't this Bill make that illegal as well?
  • We thank you that you are finaly don't let banks on into this gambling.
    Let us do it instead. We have experience in this filed.

    Don Corleone
    "The family" LTD/Inc.
    Offshore Gambling, Savings an Loans
    Sicily - Moscow - Cayman Islands
    Contact us for insurance as well.
  • Truly the Land of the Free.
  • CN did not RTFA, but Frist used some procedural trickery to attach this to the Port Security bill late last night. Frist is from Tennessee, where they have a Lotto. (AKA: A tax on people who are bad at math) Frist's amendment carves out a ridiculous exception for horse racing, also. But playing poker - a game of skill - will now be nearly impossible if you are in the United States.

    I'm just glad Frist is considering a run for President, so I will hopefully get a chance to oppose him with my vote.
  • by DaveCBio (659840) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @01:29PM (#16259627)
    They enact laws that are really about preserving their tax base.
    • Look, we all gotta pay taxes. I'm an empoyee, and I pay income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes; a property owner, so I pay property taxes; a business owner who pays income taxes on that... ...There's no reason that the economic activity of gambling online should not ALSO be taxed.

      The problem here is not that government is trying to protect a tax base. The problem is that, despite the online gambling industry pretty much BEGGING to pay taxes, the government is trying to ban something other peo
  • For those persons who live near the International Border (both north and south), why not open a bank account in another country. US laws only affect US banks. Plus, you do not have to tell anyone if you take less than $10,000 across the border.
  • by mbstone (457308) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @05:44PM (#16261517)
    rkcallaghan writes, "The Washington Post is reporting that the House passed a measure that makes it illegal for banks in the US to handle online gambling transactions." There's still no such move in the Senate, but it's a step towards banning online gambling nonetheless.

    Googling the topic or checking thomas.loc.gov would have quickly told you that the House ban passed months ago and today's passage by the Senate makes it likely that the measure will become law.
  • This came up on another site yesterday, and I'll tell you the same thing I told them: Online gambling has always been illegal in the U.S.A. Heretofore, it has been implicitly illegal, under federal laws against betting over-the-phone. The federal government has already prosecuted overseas casino owners (including at least one from the U.K., where internet gambling is legal and regulated) under these laws. 60 Minutes re-aired a story on this issue just a couple of weeks ago.

    The new legislation aims to ma

  • Will somebody please rise to the occasion and develop an open-source P2P poker application so that people who wanted to play poker could arrange a game amongst themselves, and assure one another of the game's integrity, all the while abiding by the law, without involving some poker hosting site. The two problems would be, insuring the randomness and fair dealing of the cards, and how payments would be made. The first problem could be solved by rotating the dealing -- Texas hold'em already theoretically ro
  • Australia passed a similar law about five years ago. Commentary here. [nutters.org] Short version: ignoring for the moment the question of whether this is a case of over-governing, cutting off the point of payment is a really clever and effective way to get a legislative grip on the situation. You can't regulate a gambling establishment that's beyond your borders, but you can prevent the local banks from paying them, and that works just as well.

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

Working...