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Legal On-line Gambling In Nevada 114

TwP writes: "In the U.S. it is illegal to operate an online casino or sports betting page due to interstate restrictions on gambling. It seems that a company called has been able to prove to the Nevada gaming commission that its software would prevent any bets from being placed beyond state boundaries. Read the full scoop here on CNet. How soon before someone cracks their proprietary dial-up connection?" Without commenting on the morality of gambling laws, it's interesting to note that many states consider betting so immoral that they not only prohibit private gambling organizations, but thoughtfully provide their own. How soon 'til Pick-4 is available from your local ".gov" domain?
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Legal On-line Gambling in Nevada

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Make money fast" is a thing of the past. Today we've got "Lose money fast" [].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The .gov TLD is reserved for the US Federal Government. State and local governments are supposed to use the .us heirachy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Interestingly, this was included on a bank statement of mine that just came in the mail today:

    [It was in all caps, but I've changed that to make it more asthetically pleasing...]

    Important information about your Wells Fargo ATM/ATM & Check Card: effective Dec. 1, 2000, the following has been added to the deposit agreement: Your card must not be used for any unlawful purpose (for example, funding any account that is set up to facilitate on-line gambling). You agree that you will not use your card or account for any transaction that is illegal under applicable law.

    It looks like they're targeting gambling on off-shore web sites...

  • That's the excuse, but it isn't a valid one. I'm sorry, but claiming that money for state-sponsored gambling goes to education is no better than money going to Chief Sitting-In-My-New-Rolls-Royce-Bull and his $5 billion casino in upstate New York. If a state deems gambling illegal then it should ban ALL forms of gambling INCLUDING lotteries AND horse tracks. Take Ohio for instance.. we have horse tracks here where you can gamble and we have a state lottery. Yet you can't build a casino here. No biggy, you can go to Detroit or Windsor or Niagara Falls which are all within a few hours drive. So Ohio loses out. I don't know who first said the phrase (paraphrased) "Gambling is a tax on stupid people." People would rather throw away $1 on a chance to win $20 million than stand back and look at their chances.. less than one in 13 million in Ohio. One in *13 million*. I'm not a betting man, but those aren't very good odds. You're far more likely to be killed in a drive by shooting by a bunch of crack whores in suburbia than you are to win the lottery.

    Anyway, let's get back to the "moral" issue. What are we really teaching our kids here? "Oh.. since the money goes to education, it's ok that we're ripping off the poor and inept members of our society and duping them into believing they have any chance in hell of becoming one of those lucky millionares they see in the commercials." Studies have shown time and time again that state lotteries and gambling in general pray on the lowest income segments of your population. These people are willing to wager a portion of their meager income just for the chance of winning it big and being put on easy street along with the rich. The rich gamble because they're already friggin rich and aren't going to miss a few million here or there they blow in a casino to impress a few chicks. The poor on the other hand may be making the decision to not eat meat that week so they can stuff some cash away to buy a handful of lottery tickets. That's just sad IMHO. So we should really decide.. do we want gambling in our society? If so, then legalize all of it. No lotteries.. no state sponsored casinos or regulated race tracks. Let capitalism rear its ugly head and put a shiny blinking buzzing casino on every suburban street if they want to. Let kids walk past the intoxicated penniless losers as they stumble out of it. I don't care.

  • by hawk ( 1151 )
    Then you need merely have a machine in the state with a modem and net access . . . The casino dials back the modem, which then runs a live relay by telnet or web . . .

    hawk, a Nevada attorney (among other things)
  • Oh yeah - a way to get around the "Macro eBorder control" is to set up an anonymizer []-like reflector in a legal-to-gamble jurisdiction and surf through it.
    /me waits for a lawyer's letter telling me that i need to stop being such a smartass.....
  • Without much thought, this "solution" came to mind. I have no reason/desire to use it, so don't sue me if it works.
    1) Get a cell phone (with a PO box for an address) in Nevada.
    2) Use the "call forward" function of the cell service to bounce incoming calls to the gaming dial-up number.
    3) Bet all of your hard earned money away on <insert silly betting subject here>
    Again, not sure if this would work, but if you really have that big of a gambling problem, I'm sure it will/could happen.
  • Isn't insurance a form of gambling? Look at the simularities:

    You pay money and if a random eventuality occures, you gain a finacial reward in excess of what you paid in. Should this fail to happen you simple lose what your initially paid.

    Like gambling, insurance is designed to make sure that the "house" always makes more money than it pays out.

    So if they are basically the same, how can any state that makes gambling illegal have insurance?
  • The nice thing about internet gambling is that, unlike casino gambling which are totally anonymous and there are *no* checks on how much an individual can wager, it's quite possible to lock problem gamblers out of net betting, and impose limits on the amount they can lose. Why? Because you need *a credit card*, which can be used to track *all* the gambling you do. While it's not a perfect identifier, it's a heck of a lot better than real casinos can do.

    But, of course, gambling and is Really Really Evil(TM), and the Internet is Really Really New and Scary (TM), so combining the two must be Armageddon in a lunch box.

  • The "liberals" in our country will try to tell you that these people are poor because mythical republicans someplace conspired against them. I'm sorry, but people that dumb don't need any help to be poor.
    But assholes repûblican right-wingers like you do a pretty good job of exploiting their "stupidity" by not educating them (by cutting funding to public schools and sending your own children to private schools) and making a living selling them those lottery scratchers and potato chips, though.

    Americans are bred for stupidity.

  • Without commenting on the morality of gambling laws, it's interesting to note that many states consider betting so immoral that they not only prohibit private gambling organizations, but thoughtfully provide their own.
    Would you rather see the profits of gambling go down the coffers of organized crime (or croporate America - what's the diff?), so they can buy more lawmakers and judges, or into the coffers of the State to decrease the amount of taxes you pay?

    Americans are bred for stupidity.

  • "A tax on the mathematically challenged"

    Royal Canadian Air Farce

    Americans are bred for stupidity.

  • Because you think that the mob values your liberty, and will fight for it???

    Americans are bred for stupidity.

  • So whats the problem? It keeps the less numerically challenged from paying so much tax!
  • Here we get very close to what the guys in Chicago are doing. I have never been totally clear on the difference between a gamble and a futures/options contract and I work in the industry!!!

    Essentially we base all trades on contracts that are valid under civil law. I see no reason why we can't base a derivatives contract on the promise to deliver the answer to a technical problem in the same way as delivering corn, butter or whatever. Of course, it does give some interesting possibilities for insider trading.

    Note that gambling on scientific issues is possible in the UK, for example, the success of the original moon landing was one such item. I believe the proof of Fermat's last theorem was another, but it didn't help the research. Your fusion bet would probably run in the UK.

    FWIW, Ehrlich was too pessimistic, but wouldn't you consider that there are some hard limitations and whilst many are solvable, the solution takes time. So far we have been able to solve problems before they have got too serious, but it is always possible to get it wrong!

  • I do some work on securities trading systems, in particular exchange-based derivatives trading. We set up a private trading network using leased lines so we had a good idea where the members were trading from.<P>However, it was quite clear that some of the members were originating trades from way beyond their connection point. This was a problem because at the time, our derivatives contracts were not valid in the US. The only way we could be certain of this was by visiting the member and counting their trading systems.<P>Now the exchange has come to the point where they must know and restrict the members access systems, but these can accept orders from anywhere in the world.<P>For example, you can buy a Bund future (German govt bond) in the US, however you can't but you can't buy a an option on the DAX (German stock exchange index). The exchange now sensibly leaves it to the members as to what product they sell where.<P>So does the Casino really need to worry? No, they just say that the bets were received from a Nevada address and if they were being forwarded, it is the forwarder who is breaking the interstate gambling laws.
  • Gambling, or Lottery's are just a tax on people who cannot do math.
  • It was done in Australia.
    A number of people "invested" in a company that was doing just that.
    Each person had to buy tickets though, and they had hired quite a few people to do so. Unfortunaly they were only able to buy 3/4 of the tickets. I saw a room FILLED with tickets. (This was a TV documentary) Fortunatly, they won. It did take them some time to FIND the winning ticket though.

    We could do it here in Canada, it is feasable, Canada is a large enough country and we have enough 6/49 outlets to pull something like this off.

    Hmm, the great Canadian Slashdotting of the Lotto 6/49!!!

  • Seeing as how gambling is really just a tax on stupid people, the interstate restrictions make sense.

    What state wants Nevada taxing their residence, they should be paying, er playing the local lottery system.

  • Without commenting on the morality of gambling laws, it's
    interesting to note that many states consider betting so immoral that they not only
    prohibit private gambling organizations, but thoughtfully provide their own.

    With Lotto, the profits go to supporting education and social programs in the government. Casinos in Las Vegas, CT, NJ, etc. go to the benefit of the casino owner.
  • In order to complete a callback call, the person would have to get offline, thereby removing himself from "gambling mode" and entering "not gambling-profit generating mode"

    But as it is, they have to dial-up using a special connection with the floppy provided (at least as I understood the story). So it's not like you can spontaniously decide to start gambling while you're connected to AOL, you still have to disconnect. And a callback doesn't require the special software in the first place.

    As complicated as callback might be to explain to folks, I can't imagine the technical problems they'll have with users having multiple dial-up accounts (especially with software changing the one that dials by default -- imagine kids not being able to get to AOL because daddy's computer only calls the gambling site when they double-click Internet explorer!)...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <> on Saturday October 14, 2000 @03:56PM (#705499) Homepage

    It seems to me that an obvious way to verify that bets are made by the proper person at a proper residence would be to have a call-back system rather than a complicated closed application.

    I mean, call-back has been used for years to make sure only authorized folks get remote access, even if you know passwords, etc. Then you'd have to be able to screw with the phone system to be able to "spoof" someone else so that the call went to you instead of them, which presumably is a very illegal thing to do.

    The advantage of that could be that it would be easier to sign-up for the service, too -- while you'd have to prove age, the "proof of residence" would be unneccisary because the phone company would be doing that for you, and you wouldn't have to get one of their special floppy disks...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • Except that with insurace, you are betting that something bad is going to happen.

    You bet that you're going to die, or you bet that your house is going to burn down.

    Imagine going to Vegas and betting $100 that you are going to get hit by a truck when you walk out the door. Something about insurace has always seemed weird to me... betting on an outcome that you don't desire? hmmm...
  • Nope, He's quite correct. He says: 'In an average week, how many people are struck by lightning for the second time?'
    This means that they don't need to have been hit by lightening for the first time in the same week. It doesn't matter if you do it by week or by lifetime.

    The original poster of the toplevel comment claimed that you had a higher chance of getting hit by lightening twice than you had of winning the lottery (once). If this where true, more people would get hit by lightening for the second time (but not necessarily twice on that day) than win the lottery.
  • This is my first post in months and I'm being picky. How unexpected. Heh.

    Anyway, in a world where the average IQ was 150, the average IQ would be 100. The average 3 year old has an IQ of 100, the average 30 year old has an IQ of 100, and the average 103 year old has an IQ of 100.

    Now if what you meant was "Everyone had an IQ of 150 based on our scale in this world", that makes a bit more sense. Kinda.

  • Look - the poster was stating personal experience, and was called a asshole out of a the fact that Pig_Fscker didn't have the same opinion.
    If he's just posting at +2 - that should be revoked.
  • Not to be slimy here, but who isn't thinking that the next step is your local Indian tribe offering internet terminals at every gas stop on their land, with convenient betting for tourists just driving by?
  • "Make money fast" online pyramid schemes are made illegal by the federal government and most states, but states like Nevada go ahead and create their own official pyramid scheme (lotto).

    Nevada has no state lottery. It is forbidden by the Nevada state constitution [], Article 4, Section 24, Subsection 1 and 2. We know how stupid they are. The nearest place to play the lottery is a small convience store on I-15 just on the other side of the california border.

  • Governmental gambling is not neccessarily bad.

    In Finland, the government has a monopoly in gambling. All funds raised that way go to different kinds of charity. The problem is Internet gambling, which they cannot stop, which is deteriorating the monopoly. Now, they fear that other gambling companies will get the right to merchandise their gambling sites, which could lead to a radical diminishing of funding.

    In my opinion, the system is good. Some people must gamble, but when they do, is better that the money goes to a good cause.

    Lotteries are a tax on people that suck at math
    -- Somebody's sig on slashdot.

    BTW. Why is it that every time I post a message on slashdot it crashes just before I submit..?
  • I used to work part time at 7-11 a few years back and the store I worked in was right in front of a very poor neighborhood. The same people would come in every day and buy "scratchers" over and over trying to win a $5,000 prize. These same people were also on food stamps. The really disgusting and disturbing thing is that they would spend their food stamps there at the 7-11 on things like soda, doughnuts, and potato chips. I'd think that if I were poor and on food stamps, the last place I'd spend any money of any kind would be at a 7-11 where the prices are higher than in any grocery store. I'd also not waste my money on junk food and lottery tickets.

    The "liberals" in our country will try to tell you that these people are poor because mythical republicans someplace conspired against them. I'm sorry, but people that dumb don't need any help to be poor. It wasn't due to racial discrimination either. Nearly everyone in that neighborhood was white. I don't wholly subscribe to the idea of social darwinism, but based off the things I've seen myself I must say that the theory isn't wholly unfounded. The lottery truly is a stupidity tax. Of course if this fact were to ever be widely known you'd have people screaming about how the lottery is designed to keep poor people poor by enticing them to spend their hard earned welfare dollars.

    Lee Reynolds
  • Actually many states have lotteries, not just Nevada. Also lotteries aren't really like pyramid schemes in that everything is on the table. The odds of winning are published and everyone knows they aren't very likely to win. With pyramid schemes, nothing is on the table other than some vague promises of vast wealth in 3 week. Lotteries are a tax on those who aren't too bright, pyramid schemes are a tax on those who are truly moronic.

    Lee Reynolds

  • So what you're saying is that there is a tax in
    Finland which is disguised as gambling? I'm sorry but I just don't feel bad about the Finnish government losing money because their people have more choices about where they waste their dollars.

    Lee Reynolds
  • There was an Abco grocery store a block up the street from the 7-11. I don't know if Abco is particularly well known for their low prices, but I can guarantee you they were lower than 7-11's.

    I'm not sure that the analogy you used applies to being poor. If I were poor and on food stamps I'd be clipping coupons and searching for specials at the grocery store, not throwing what few dollars I had away on junk food at a mini-mart. But then again I'm not stupid. Ultimately the problem these people had was not lack of money, it was lack of intelligence. For many people, ascribing someone with a lack of intelligence is almost a moral judgement against that person. As if being born with a not-so-good brain means you're less worthy as a person. I'm not like that. I'm smart enough to know that stupidity isn't the fault of the stupid. They can't help it any more than someone with a misformed leg can't help but limp. It is my hope that in the future everyone will have a good mind thanks to genetic engineering. Imagine a world in which the average IQ were about 150. That world would have its share of problems, but I doubt you'd see as many people buying scratchers and junk food with food stamps.

    Lee Reynolds
  • You've just demonstrated the exact kind of behavior I was talking about. Thank you for the live demonstration. If I didn't know any better I'd think you were being sarcastic. But I've been around long enough to know that you do likely see the world though tinted glasses.

    First of all I'm a libertarian, not a republican. Second of all I fully support additional funding for education in poorer communities. Education is one of the few means by which someone born into less fortunate circumstances can lift themselves out of poverty. It is very important that everyone be given the opportunity to excel and to achieve something. To deny that to a segment of society because they are impoverished is simply not right any more than it would be right to deny another segment because of their race.

    Now having good opportunities is no guarantee that someone is going to take advantage of them. But then society's responsibilty is to provide opportunity, not to take care of those who cannot or will not take advantage of it. We live in a country of great opportunity. Those who respond to it by working hard and achieving something will be rewarded by life. Those who do not work and do not strive to succeed will not be rewarded. I have little sympathy for those who can't get their act together. My mother was a single parent who raised two children on 20k a year. She easily could have moved us into some trashy neighborhood where the rent was cheap and so were the people. But she didn't want that kind of environment for her children. So she worked and struggled to make sure we lived in a nice neighborhood and went to a good school, even though it meant she never put one dime away for her own retirement. My sister and I are her retirement and believe me she will be well taken care of.

    As for private school, I went to one on a scholarship my last three years in high school. I'm certainly not going to apologize for making the most of my opportunities.

    As for the scratchers and potato chips comment, I'm not really sure what you're trying to say. Yes, while working at 7-11 as a clerk I did sell scratchers tickets and potato chips to people for $6.50 an hour. However I don't see where I fit into a conspiracy between the Arizona State Lottery Commission and Frito Lay to keep the people living behind the store in the poorhouse. The lottery is a stupidity tax levied by the state on those too dumb to know a bad bet when they see one. The money collected goes to fund various government programs. As for the potato chips, Frito Lay isn't responsible if someone is to stupid to know how to spend their money wisely.

    But from your comments you seem to believe this is all the fault of republicans someplace who spend their days looking for ways to put the soles of their boots down on the heads of the struggling proletariat. Who can't think of anything better to do with their time than kick someone who is already down for the count. Give me a break! The people you demonize are too busy working and being successful in life to prevent anyone else from doing the same, even if they wanted to.

    Lee Reynolds
  • How can the average of any measured distribution be two distinct numbers, 100 and 150, at the same time?

    Lee Reynolds
  • In Missouri, much hay is being made in the current gubernatorial campaign about just that. True, lotto proceeds do go to education. However, that amount is curiously offset by a large decrease in general fund appropriations for education. I'm sure the same game is played in the other states that say the same thing.
  • A few years ago I saw a tv show about winners of the New York Lottery. The shows producers could only find two winners that weren't broke. Most of the past winners were bankrupt.
  • you have better odds of being hit twice in your lifetime by lightning

    Every week several people win the lottery. In an average week, how many people are struck by lightning for the second time?
  • Actually, they are unlikely to be wasting their dollars. For now, they are wasting their Finnish Markka, and will soon be wasting Euros. :-(
  • Yes, most state lotteries "go toward education". However, the trend seems to be that an equal amount of budget money then goes somewhere else besides education. After all, the lottery already takes care of it, right?
    No more e-mail address game - see my user info. Time for revenge.
  • actually....

    the ones with growing jackpots can get to a point where they are not rigged in the house's favor... of course until they get there......

  • with the exchange rate... $1 mill after taxes US is probably on par with $1 mill CDN

    or something

    &lt/manditory cdn exchange joke&gt
  • > Isn't insurance a form of gambling?

    Yes, both are ponzi schemes.

    If you can't manage your money better, hey, that's your problem.
  • I run a small, text only, website that covers the Colorado Lotto games. We get a good number of visits per day (nothing like slashdot, but we try--and no ads, either!).

    Anyways, we get comments from a wide range of folks on the technology ladder, but one thing that many of them have in common is the desire to play/gamble online.

    People consistantly ask if they can plunk down their $$ to play state lotteries...We don't offer that, but I was surprised at the number of people who ask about it.

    So, I don't think that the "rich" (being computer users) are abstaining from playing the lottery. If anything, they have more information at their disposal and probably derive more entertainment value from playing lotteries.
    Interested in the Colorado Lottery?
  • Insurance is risk management.

  • Many Maryland state government web sites use the .com TLD.

    I'm too lazy to offer examples though.

  • Common sense would suggest that encouraging the rich to gamble while discouraging the poor from throwing away what little money they have might achieve a more equitable assessment of revenue-raising among the people.

    Common sense would suggest that rich people have gotten that way in part from saving their money and investing wisely, even though they may have started out poor. Likewise, poor people have gotten that way in part from poor money management, even though they may have started out rich. Why we would want to discourage frugality by encouraging gambling among people of any income level is beyond me.

    Anyway, the government squanders and wastes almost all of the outrageous amounts it takes from us already. It doesn't need or deserve any more revenue.

  • But that's not the point. Why prevent adults from spending their money the way THEY see fit? Why is gambling illegal?

    In general, adults should not be permitted to make their own personal decisions. All choices should be made by the smarter and more capable ruling political class - NEVER by individuals. The ruling class should dictate which schools your children will go to, what they will learn, what features may be integrated in computer operating systems, what types of entertainment and information you may access, and so on - all the way down to the exact capacity of your toilet bowl.

    Think of what kind of fucked up world it would be if everyone was free to make their own personal decisions in social and economic matters. It would be utter chaos! People everywhere would be running naked in the streets with carrots hanging out of their ears.

    For God's sake, man - can't you think of the children?!

  • State lotteries do focus on the working poor who really can't afford to play but do anyways and gambling is completely legal for non-profits like church bingo. On-line bingo is sure on its way.

    State lotteries only have to gain with online sales, consider how many more upwardly mobile people they could get if all it took was one click and an automated pay-system. You could set up a condition like, if prize is greater than 20million buy 20 tickets and email everyone in my "lottery group." The twenty dollars is paid through a debit card and someone else has 1 in 50 million odds of winning that money.

  • How many casinos take credit cards?

    That's one bit about online gambling, and we've seen it already -- people will run up LARGE debts on credit. Slashdot's posted an article or two on folks who've gotten refunds from their CC companies due to (illegal) online gambling, already, and IIRC at least one of the cases exceeded $10,000. Unless these folks plan on having their own private debit accounts (when you set up the account, you also plonk down cash/check, and that's your limit -- e.g. a pre-paid gambling card, really), hrmmmmm.

    I'm definitely not the only one here getting frequent credit card ads (Not that I use credit more than every 6 mos-1 year; the main culprit is MNBA which provides "affinity" cards to me as both a student and alum. So others are probably getting far far more...) offering pretty hefty credit limits.

    With on-line, you don't even need to bring cash -- your MC/Visa/Amex suffices. It's easier that way. I don't gamble much (dropped $20 in Vegas, once. Heh. I'm not exactly going to earn one of their high-roller suites anytime soon), but I do shop for hardware, books, etc -- and I probably spend much more total than I would without the plethora of online sources, simply because it's easier. For a habitual gambler, it'll probably be much the same way.

    Click. Click. Click. *Ding*. Click.

    It'd be like sitting in front of one of those slot machines that lets you put in a bill so you can push buttons for a while before refilling it, minus the cheery music with fewer old women drawing from their buckets of coins for hours.

    If the State Lotteries could avoid getting burnt by fraud, transaction fees (most lotteries are, what, $1-2/ticket? Perhaps charge for $10+ at a time?), and interstate gambling, it might be VERY profitable indeed.
  • I find the description of the idea of a lotteries as a stupid tax to be rather odd.

    People who buy lottery tickets do not buy them with the expectation that the long term benefits will gain them a profit. I have never _ever_ found a person who believed that.

    Lottery tickets give you a chance to be wealthy. For many who buy those tickets it is their only chance. Pretty much everybody knows that their chances are slim but people who buy tickets believe that the possibility of being wealthy is worth the expense of a lottery ticket. A slim chance is much better than no chance.

    As for myself, I don't buy lottery tickets, but I also don't deride those who do.
  • Online gov't lotteries is a great idea! Tax people from half way around the world. I wonder what the first state will be to get a piece of that. Like my friend always said, Lotteries are for people who are bad at math... -Moondog
  • That's not quite true.

    The first part is fair enough - 4160 tickets, each with a 1 in 76,275,360 chance of winning means that there is a 4,160 in 76,275,360 chance of winning (or 1:18,335, approx).

    However, if you have a 1 in 709,260 chance of being hit by lighning ONCE, you can't simply double the second number to get the chance of being hit by lightning TWICE.

    Instead, you have to square the second number. This reflects that fact that even AFTER you've been hit by lightning, you then have a 1 in 709,260 chance of being hit AGAIN.

    As a result, the probability of being hit by lightning twice is a staggeringly low 1:503,049,747,600. Hence you've got a much better chance of winning the lottery once in 80 years than being struck by lightning twice.

    In fact, the probability of being hit by lightning twice is probably even lower - how many people die after being hit the first time?

    -Shane Stephens
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
    Goddamn Government can't even run gambling well. Maybe they should turn that division over to the mafia, whose payouts are much better (And tax free!)
  • Looks like it requires a modem for a special dial-up connection. Who owns modems anymore? With the typical computer lifespan being three years, and everyone getting broadband connections, in three years dial-up modems will be as common in the general populace as I imagine they are for Slashdot readers now.
  • Here's something that may complement your post:

    In Illinois, the difference between the income and the payout of a particular Illinois State Lottery game automatically becomes funding for the public education within the state. I imagine there are lots more states, but which others do this?

  • We won't truly have optimum state-sponsored gambling until welfare recipients can receive their dole entirely in lottery tickets.

  • Common sense would suggest that encouraging the rich to gamble while discouraging the poor from throwing away what little money they have might achieve a more equitable assessment of revenue-raising among the people. We already see this with vanity liscense plates

    Interesting thought, although, I see more 1984 Cameros on the road with vanity plates such as "2FAST" (and virtually non-existant mufflers, too, I might add) then shiny new Lexus's and SUVs.
  • by doogles ( 103478 ) on Saturday October 14, 2000 @03:46PM (#705537)
    How soon 'til Pick-4 is available from your local ".gov" domain?

    Studies often show that people with easy access to computers/technology as being at the top of the social ladder (in that they come from higher income familes, have backgrounds involving more education, etc).

    On the flip side, other studies often show people who play the lottery as being at the bottom of the social ladder (lower incoming familes). Many people call the State Lotteries a "stupid tax", in that poorer familes often waste their precious few remaining dollars on lottery tickets in hopes of climbing out of their situation.

    Thus, with the "rich" being on computer/The Internet but not playing the lottery, and the "poor" playing the lottery but without access to the Net, it makes you wonder whether online State Lotteries would make sense.

    Won't stop them from doing it, though.
  • Many people call the State Lotteries a "stupid tax",

    Get it right! It's: "The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math." ;)

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • Do you think the US gov't values your liberty?

    Interesting sidenote, my roommate (a history major) and I(biology) were discussing gun control and after I asserted the second amendment was as valid as any other constitutional amendment, he promptly replied that technology has far surpassed what the founding fathers intended, as in their time all they had were muzzle-loaders.

    Upon asking him if the media had changed since 1787 and if the First amendement was not valid based upon changes in the media, he shut up.

  • Well, the excuse for state sponsored gambling (aka the lottery) is that a significant portion of the proceeds goes to education. It's "for our children," and so the nobility of the goal is supposed to be what makes it okay.

    Of course, what they try to avoid telling you is that the lottery has the worst payoff ratio (usually less than one dollar in three paid into the system gets paid back in prizes) of any form of gambling, legal or illegal. I know someone's .sig around here says "the lottery is a tax on those who are bad at math," and truer words have never been spoken.

    The Libertarian in me likes the fact that it's a volutary tax, however. :)

  • Every week several people win the lottery. In an average week, how many people are struck by lightning for the second time?

    Ah... but he said "in your lifetime," not "in an average week." It makes quite a difference.

    What is being compared is the chance that any single ticket will win on a particular week with the chance that you will be hit twice by lightning over 80 years. Not exactly a fair comparison. It would be more accurate to comare the chance of winning if you buy one ticket weekly for 80 years. Anyone want to get some real numbers?

  • There is a similar mechanism for politics, though, the Iowa Electronic Markets [], which are a real money futures market depending on the outcome of certain events (mainly elections). It provides an interesting consensus on who people think is going to win an election.

    It's run by the University of Iowa as an experiment, and they say it's legal.

  • There was an episode of the Simpsons, where Ned Flanders' house got blown away in a storm. He didn't carry any insurance because he considered it a form of gambling. It was funny on the Simpsons; it's ludicrous here.

    Insurance companies do their best to make sure that you don't recieve a "windfall". Generally, you submit the bill to repair the damage to the insurance company, and they pay that. Insurance doesn't get you ahead, it just prevents you from falling ridiculously far behind.

  • One of the main arguments against casinos is the environment that they create in the towns that they run in. While many people don't mind visiting the Boardwalk and Park Place, not many want to live on Baltic Avenue. The internet changes all of this, and if the states can find a way to extract taxes from these businesses (even if they're operating in another state), you can be sure they will.
  • ok, Inevitably someone will most likely reverse engeneer their so called "proprietary code" and start placing bets from somewhere outside of Nevada. Now since the software is propriety and (i hope encrypted since it is used in a finacial way) that means that it should fall under the protection of the DMCA.

    The question remains --- what then?
    lawsuits? do they just shut down? Cry foul?
    Maybe if a big enough hole is found then it could show how much reverse engenering is needed.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Saturday October 14, 2000 @04:31PM (#705546) Homepage
    If you're already in Nevada, why do it online? Might as well go to Las Vegas and get the free buffet...
  • other then that pesky problem of physically show up to register....
  • I wonder how they set up the service to recognize whether or not a person is from Nevada. What if you changed what your computer outputted to make it seem as though you were from Nevada, and just had money deposited into an account in Nevada, and get a PO Box? Would this be possible?
  • Sports gambling and Blackjack can be a high paying profession when undertaken by a skilled (non-cheating) bettor/player. Also, don't forget that the house, on occasion, trips up. Soccer games were rescheduled in England and played earlier than anticipated, and the Ontario government's sports betting arm let people place bets on games whose outcomes had already been decided. The sporting betting arm took a HUGE hit on that one. You may need low scruples to win big this way, but you're by no means stupid for taking advantage of situations like this.
  • I think they would have been better off giving it to education.

    I would know.
  • Maybe they're shopping at a nearby 7-11 because they can't afford a car to go where the food is cheaper.

    I remember a scene in a Terry Pratchett novel where the rich woman could afford to buy good boots which lasted her 10 years, but the poor guy could only buy cheap boots which wore out after a year, and in the long run meant that the poor guy spent more on boots than the rich woman.

    Sometimes it can be more expensive to be poor.
  • You can even sell your soul through the net !!!!
    How scary....

  • If you play a government lottery you pay the government for the ticket and then when you win you pay the government ~half of what you won back to them. Of course the government doesn't want anyone moving in on this scam.
  • And the lottery isn't even a decent investment... it's simply a tax on people who are bad at math. ;-)

    Alright, you've got a smiley face there, but I'd just like to point out to the masses that this oft-repeated bit of wisdom isn't quite as clever as it seems at first. (Begin micro-rant) The average person who plays the lottery week to week isn't making an investment, they're getting $1 worth of entertainment. So unless you call video games, dial-a-porn, and trashy novels a tax on people who are bad at math, you're overstating the truth.

    On the other hand, if you do consider the lottery an investment, and spend a significant amount of money on it, you get what you deserve.

  • The .gov TLD is reserved for the US Federal Government. State and local governments are supposed to use the .us heirachy.


  • Actually in the great state of Pennsylvania, all our 'gambling' proceeds beenfit Older Pennsylvanians.

  • "Well, the excuse for state sponsored gambling (aka the lottery) is that a significant portion of the proceeds goes to education."

    Technically, yes, but not really. Sure, most states are requires to put all the profits from lotteries into funding education. But it really doesn't help education because they replace the source of education funding instead of augmenting it.

    For example (making up numbers), say a state initially has a $300 million budget to go to education. They start a lottery with the excuse of "it's for the schools!" and get $250 million from the lottery over the course of a year. However, the state still pays only $300 million into education -- they just reduced the non-lottery-funding from $300 million to $50 million. Thus, they now have $250 million that is available to spend on anything, and even though the actual dollars from the lottery are going to education, it really doesn't change anything.

    Not saying that all states do it, but most of them do do this to some extent. Amazing how "it's for the children!" works for a lot of things, isn't it?


  • Both the Las Vegas and Reno airports have gaming in the food court areas, the terminal gate areas, and selected other places. In fairness, though, I must state that the machine are supervised by change clerks and by airport law enforcement. The age limits are enforced--I've seen it happen in the Southwest gate areas.

    You missed the fact that we also have slots in the grocery stores, and virtually every bar in town has at least four of the video-poker machines.

    When you get outside of Washoe and Clark county the guys have other ways they can spend money as well. Most notably in the State's Capitol. But this isn't about the Bunny Ranch FUFme server, this is about The Lucky Nugget Of The Web.

    (It's amazing to me how many people forget that Reno and Lake Tahoe are both large gaming areas. The Eudomatic Pie described the escapades of some practical physics experimenters who built computers into shoes and bras--and the process was first tried in the field here at Lake Tahoe.)

  • The first thing that popped in my mind was that some enterprising young Nevadan would "black-box" analyze the protocols, and put up a proxy server so that out-of-staters could bet through the proxy. That would beat any tracking scheme using ANI or caller ID, because the call would be made from the local in-Nevada exchange. Because the Nevada resident (with Nevada driver's license, mail address, and other identifying marks) would be signing up for the service, there is no way that the operator would be able to determine whether a given transaction was done by a Nevadan.

    What proxy software, you ask? How about PCAnywhere, Timbuckto, Carbon Copy? And if that proprietary software just happens to run under Linux, there could even be a Web-based interface.

    But don't look at this Nevadan to do the job. I wouldn't be surprised if the EULA states specifically that any such proxy use of their software was strictly verboten; indeed, that the proxy of their software would be illegal under Nevada Revised Statutes. Nope, not me. I like living here, and don't want any reason for the State Gaming Board to even look my way. I have enough problems with the Tahoe Regional Planning Authority (TRPA)...

  • Hmm.. interesting how so many online gambling sites exist that not only serve but seem to attract US patrons..

    And also, has anyone noticed that this is Nevada they're talking about here? Isn't this the state where the primary airport has unsupervised slot machines at every terminal??

  • The story reads "In the U.S. it is illegal to operate an online casino or sports betting page due to interstate restrictions on gambling. It seems that a company called has been able to prove to the Nevada gaming comission that its software would prevent any bets from being placed beyond state boundaries."

    IANAL,but what about the YouBet [] online horse race betting service? Is horse racing not considerd "Sports"? To be fair, YouBet only provides national programs, odds, handicapping, etc. and the actual betting accounts are handled through a company named Ladbroke Racing based in Pennsylvania. It is legal, according to the FAQ for anyone over the age of 18 in the US, excluding AK, CA, CO, GA, MI, MS, Nevada (?), NC, SC, UT, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. So what is so different about this Nevada service? Would some technology to block out users from betting in prohibited states already have to exist? According to the article, that was one of the stipulations that allowed this, that it was restricted to Nevada state lines. Is it because YouBet uses proxy wagering in PA, where Off Track Betting is legal? Now, say for example I wanted to place a bet in Nevada. Would it be legal for me to call a friend there, have him wager for me, and mail him a check? Like I said, IANAL, but I do not see how this is a breakthrough in internet gambeling. The methods are different, but it appears that legal internet gambeling has been around longer than this. Does anyone here on /. have any idea what the legal differences are between the Nevada service and one similar to YouBet?

  • hmm, i've got an old 33.6 and a 56k (both internal) in a box 'round here... (a literal box, not a computer-box, hehe)...

  • by adrox ( 206071 )
    In Canada most of the lottery is completely run by the government and what does this mean:

    100% tax free lottery winnings

    So if you won $1mil in Canada and $1mil in the US you'd actually get more money in Canada.
  • Now, I am just waiting on someone to figure out how to route their calls through a telephone number in nevada and gamble that way...

    It's really pretty easy.

    But that's not the point. Why prevent adults from spending their money the way THEY see fit? Why is gambling illegal?

    Its just a way for the government to have a monopoly.

  • -What's your damage, Heather?

    Heh heh heh.

  • Wow... never have I seen such righteous racism.

    The post didn't reduce and homogenise Indian tribes into nothing but money grabbers, you troll, you. The post said that gambling terminals might spring up, as many Indian tribes do have casinos (as you admit with the negative "dens of gambling" remark).

  • "Yeah, because when you think about it, the children literaly are our future." - Miss World Entrant for Australia, 1992
  • I (hereby) agree.

    I knight you sir statistician.

    Rise, Sir Statistician!

    (ps. I know of a guy who's been struck twice times, not dead though (he's a callout guy who works on power lines - the silly bugger). I don't think the comparason between lottery and lightning are good though. One's entirely clean and mathematical: you either enter or you don't. Whereas the other is fuzzy measurements of number of lightning hits, and doesn't account for lifestyle)

  • It's a troll to take a great liberty and expand a small statement to meaning a systematic oppression of races and world wars - yes.
  • Why not? The Indians are making a killing (Billion$ a year) from the White Man's gambling. I call it "reparations" for the 500+ years of abuse they've taken from the European invaders. PS - I just clicked on the site -- came up empty (cannot find
  • I just want to point out that anti-gambling statutes are blocking the development of a potentially extremely useful mechanism [] for reaching an honest consensus about difficult scientific questions.

    The average citizen is quite ignorant about most scientific issues, and a single charismatic scientist can be highly influential in persuading people to pursue wrongheaded ideas. For example, Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, has been arguably the most influential person in spreading the idea that the earth is "overpopulated." In the early 1970's he predicted many dire consequences as result of population growth. Among other things, he predict that ten's of millions of children would starve in countries like India.

    Ehrlich supported rather drastic measures to prevent the catastrophe he believed to be inevitable--including such things as the forced sterilization of all Indian men with three or more children, and adding contraceptives to food and water supplies.

    Julian Simon, an economist at the University of Maryland, challenged Ehrlich's theories. He argued that humans were the "ultimate resource" and that the results of human ingenuity--better fertilizers, new crop varieties, more efficient farming techniques--would allow humans to keep pace with expected population growth.

    One of Ehrlich's predictions was that the price of limited resources, such as elemental metals, would rise as more humans competed for the same resources.

    Simon offered Ehrlich a wager centered on the market price of metals. "...Ehrlich would pick a quantity of any five metals he liked worth $1,000 in 1980. If the 1990 value of the metals, after adjusting for inflation, was more than $1,000 (i.e. the metals became more scarce), Ehrlich would win. If, however, the value of the metals after inflation was less than $1,000 (i.e. the metals became less scare), Simon would win. The loser would mail the winner a check for the change in price.

    Ehrlich agreed to the bet and chose copper, chrome, nickel, tin and tungsten.

    By 1990, all five metal were below their real price level in 1970. Ehrlich lost the bet and sent Simon a check for $576.07. Prices of the metals chosen fell so much that Simon would have won the bet even if the prices hadn't been adjusted for inflation..." (see Brian Carnell's [] for more details about the wager.)

    Robin Hanson took the idea of wagering about scientific questions a step further, proposing to create an idea futures market. "...Imagine a betting pool on disputed science questions, where the current odds are treated as the current intellectual consensus. For example, people might bet on whether cold fusion will be used to produce power by the year 2020. Right now the odds would be fairly low - say 20-to-1 against. But as the results of new research became known, and if more people became convinced that cold fusion worked, the odds would rise. And if cold fusion became a reality by 2020, those early supporters would make a bundle.

    Such betting markets would become "idea futures" markets - like corn futures markets, except you'd bet on the future settlement of a scientific controversy instead of the future price of corn. The system could increase the public's interest and role in science, and betting odds could serve as a scientific barometer to guide mass media and public policy...."(Idea Futures: How making wagers on the future can make it happen faster by Robin Hanson. WIRED, Sept. 1995, Idees Fortes section, p.125 )

    State gambling laws [] unfortunately prohibit the formation of such markets. As a result, a potentially very valuable mechanism for eliminating dangerously unfounded ideas is thwarted.

  • For once, the general populace's (including the judiciary system) blanket ignorace of technical issues works in FAVOR of an online entity.
  • OK, on second read, that actually sounds relatively fullproof. A pain in the ass, but not a bad system.
  • by unformed ( 225214 ) on Saturday October 14, 2000 @04:40PM (#705576)
    next online prostitution

    yeah baby!

    (wait, no, i forgot- that falls under free speech, kinda sorta)
  • Why all you young whipper-snappers. I ain't never tried any of this "on-line" Gamblin". Fishin' tournaments ain't good bettin'.
    So what ya do is go down to the races, and bet on the horse that does his business right before the race starts.
  • Most people get online via a dialup phone connection. Most people have only one phone line. In order to complete a callback call, the person would have to get offline, thereby removing himself from "gambling mode" and entering "not gambling-profit generating mode". The gambling industry would have a fit.
  • Lotteries don't tax people who are bad at math. Most people who play know the numbers aren't in their favor, but they play it anyway because they feel it's the only way they can escape their penury. It's a tax on hope, the chiefest of American ideals, and it shows how far our nation has fallen from its bygone years of visions of the "city on the hill". But we don't mind, of course, because it lowers our property taxes (since lotteries and property taxes are both chiefly aimed at paying for education), and we hate the poor. It's not that we hate them for being poor; it's that we treat their penury like a contagion that must be kept out of our sheltered white-bread gated-neighborhood lives at all cost, even lotto costs. By giving them the lotto to play, they will voluntarily keep to keno shops and convenience stores and stay the heck away. The Caesars gave the plebians their bread and circus, just as we have (except we go even further and coopt "Bread and Circus" as the trademarked name of a line of health/specialty food stores where we can buy our $5 bottles of organic mango juice and continue to let the poor go hungry.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"