Right Thinking From The Left Coast
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

Sunday, April 17, 2011

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 in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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