Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

You Betchya

I started this post by writing “The Obama Administration, in an appalling over-reach”.  But really, do I need to type those words anymore?  Almost everything these guys do is an overreach.

A thriving online poker industry catering to Americans but operating from abroad to evade U.S. gambling laws could be wiped out by criminal charges against top executives in the business.

Eleven people, including the founders of the three largest poker sites open to U.S. players, were charged by a federal grand jury with bank fraud, money laundering and violating gambling laws. The government also is seeking to recover $3 billion from the companies.

Congress, in 2006, passed a very stupid bill trying to outlaw internet gambling.  The Bush Administration went to absurd lengths to enforce it, even arresting one online poker exec while he was changing international flights.  All to protect adults from betting their own damned money.  Yes, there are people who many bankrupt themselves gambling.  But is preventing that—or more likely, shunting that to even shadier operators—worth creating a society in which the government is constantly looking over our shoulder onto our laptops, slapping our fingers and saying, “No. Baaad citizen.”?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts.  The gambling sites were, at minimum, trying to slither around the law.  That may be enough for the charges to stick.  The government will get what it wants—moral grandstanding and a lot of cash—never forget the money.  But the net benefit to Americans?  Minimal.  The benefit to compulsive gamblers?  None.  It’s the fucking internet, guys.  You can’t stop people from doing what they want on the internet.  All you can do is make it riskier.  Or put it into government hands.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/17/11 at 05:53 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 04/17/11 at 09:10 AM from United States

I am hoping that with the increase in government intrusion that a monumental backlash will ensue, where the folks will demand their liberty to the point of fighting for it. Sure, the 50 percent at the bottom, those that don’t pay taxes, will continue to prop up and embolden their providers, they like being taken care of, but this situation has to go.

A society where gambling, prostitution, weed, stuff that people are going to do anyway, is all legal and upfront. Naturally it has to be regulated, you didn’t think the government was not going to wet their beak in allowing this, did you? But this all could be a good thing. The government gets to tax it, the SEC gets to regulate it, and the consumers are somewhat protected in that business people (not the mafia) runs the gambling, the hookers are safe and clean, and the marijuana is of a standard suitable for consumption. I can dream.

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 10:52 AM from Canada

I loved the fact that the FBI deliberately went out of their way to shut down online poker yet I can still log on to any number of online betting sites and make wagers on sporting events. Maybe I’m missing something here but this just seems like a huge waste of resources and a pointless endeavor to ban something that should be taxed(as Hal and Rich both pointed out). A decent amount of players will also be hung out to dry as I doubt anyone can access the cash that they had on their account. Sucks for the pros that relied on it as a source of income.

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 11:47 AM from United States

Obama sees himself as some sort of emperor.  Constitutional limits?  WTF you talking about - the president does whatever the fuck he wants to…

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/17/11 at 11:57 AM from United States

I loved the fact that the FBI deliberately went out of their way to shut down online poker yet I can still log on to any number of online betting sites and make wagers on sporting events.

Obama or some demcorat must have asked these guys for a big donation and didn’t get it. I have no doubt that this is political. I would be really curious to know whom the onwers and moneymakers for these shut down sites are, and whom they were getting in the way off.

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 12:13 PM from Canada

This whole thing just seemed bizzare as many of these companies were actually beginning to team up with traditional brick and mortar casinos like Wynn to make a push for legalized online gambling. These guys were obviously ready and willing to play ball if given the chance so I’m at a loss in trying to figure out their actual motivation. Either way this entire thing just reeks of stupid but I guess it falls within the confines of North American policy when it comes to “vices”.

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 05:40 PM from United States

Maybe it’s Obama being “tough on crime” for the election cycle.  You know, to sort of get people from ripping him apart on that whole “economy” thing that won’t fucking go away....

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 06:43 PM from United States

Maybe it’s Obama being “tough on crime” for the election cycle.  You know, to sort of get people from ripping him apart on that whole “economy” thing that won’t fucking go away....

Perhaps, but this article from American Thinker may make more sense.

Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 07:15 PM from United States

Congress, in 2006, passed a very stupid bill trying to outlaw internet gambling.

It’s a stupid law but, since it hasn’t been overturned by the courts, it is still the law.  The Obama administration is supposed to enforce that law.  They certainly have some discretion, but you guys really shouldn’t have a problem with Obama on this-you should blame Congress and the President who signed the law.

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 07:31 PM from Germany

It’s a stupid law but, since it hasn’t been overturned by the courts, it is still the law.  The Obama administration is supposed to enforce that law.  They certainly have some discretion, but you guys really shouldn’t have a problem with Obama on this-you should blame Congress and the President who signed the law.

You’re right of course, but since these guys selective chose not to fully enforce DOMA and seem to think the Constitution is just a die-roll from D&D;, they can hardly stand up now and say, “We’re enforcing the law because that’s our job.”

My bet is that it’s to appeal to the “Think of the CHILDREN!!” types who are anti-everything-fun (alcohol, porn, gambling, etc.) and imagine that the internet is somekind of ‘kinder-phage’ just waiting to corrupt our youth if we don’t do something!

Posted by on 04/17/11 at 08:38 PM from United States

Mr. Czar of the World over-reached some (think Iran-contra)last week.

And the funds come from where?

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