Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Government Delays New Ban On Internet Gambling

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the twenty-bucks-says-they-extend-it-again dept.

Government 143

The Installer writes with this quote from the Associated Press: "The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are giving US financial institutions an additional six months to comply with regulations designed to ban Internet gambling. ... The delayed rules would curb online gambling by prohibiting financial institutions from accepting payments from credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers to settle online wagers. The financial industry complained that the new rules would be difficult to enforce because they did not offer a clear definition of what constitutes Internet gambling. They had sought a 12-month delay in implementing provisions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that Congress had passed in 2006. ... US bettors have been estimated to supply at least half the revenue of the $16 billion Internet gambling industry, which is largely hosted overseas."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nothing escapes the web (1)

wonderboss (952111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254850)

Implementing this _might_ hurt US financial institutions. It will not reduce internet gambling.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254898)

It already *has* hurt non-US financial institutions and runs entirely counter to all the rules that the US wanted the rest of the world to run by.

It's a travesty and should be undone entirely, not merely delayed.

And no, I don't believe that it has had much impact on gambling: maybe driven more of it underground and into the hands of criminals. Wasn't something called "prohibition" tried once (or twice)? How did it work out?

Rgds

Damon

Re:Nothing escapes the web (4, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255146)

This situation aside, I don't believe the prohibition failure is a universally applicable example that can be cited every time the government wants to regulate something that's inherently hard to regulate. It's a balance between the cost associated with enforcement and the cost of allowing the activity to occur unregulated.

If you don't apply the calculus correctly then you could argue that murder is hard to prosecute, therefore we should just allow it. After all, prohibition failed. Ditto for all hard drugs. Should we allow unrestricted use of heroin and cocaine? There may be some callous people who would argue that banning drugs is interfering with Darwinian mechanisms, but the reality is that many youth don't know what's good for them, and need to have access to hard drugs removed to protect themselves from making poor decisions in the period they are still learning to evaluate choices maturely.

Apply the prohibition lesson sparingly, as it can lead to manifestly unjust and dangerous policy decisions if invoked carelessly.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255230)

This situation aside, I don't believe the prohibition failure is a universally applicable example that can be cited every time the government wants to regulate something that's inherently hard to regulate. It's a balance between the cost associated with enforcement and the cost of allowing the activity to occur unregulated.

Prohibition is a great example because drugs and gambling have two things in common: there's no victim. Someone can gamble away their last cent if that's really how they want to spend their mortal life; this doesn't force you or me to do anything. As I view the protection of civil rights to be the main reason why government has law enforcement powers, and no one is using force or fraud to infringe anyone's civil rights here, I am having a hard time understanding why government is even involved. This is exactly like Prohibition, during which some people wanted to drink alcohol, didn't force anyone else to drink if they didn't want to, and still the government felt a need to create a victimless crime. Just like with alcohol, this seems to be based on some kind of Puritannical outrage and has little to do with logic and reason.

If you don't apply the calculus correctly then you could argue that murder is hard to prosecute, therefore we should just allow it. After all, prohibition failed. Ditto for all hard drugs. Should we allow unrestricted use of heroin and cocaine? There may be some callous people who would argue that banning drugs is interfering with Darwinian mechanisms, but the reality is that many youth don't know what's good for them, and need to have access to hard drugs removed to protect themselves from making poor decisions in the period they are still learning to evaluate choices maturely.

If you think drug prohibition has removed the street availability of drugs, it's because you frankly haven't done the slightest research on it. For many youths, alcohol is actually more difficult to obtain than illegal drugs for the simple reason that the store clerk wants to see ID but the drug dealer doesn't. People might go into drug withdrawals because they cannot afford heroin and cocaine, but not because they don't know where to find them. The War on Drugs has been a total failure in this regard, just like alcohol Prohibition was a total failure. A total failure unless, of course, your goal was to expand the police powers of government, in which case it has been quite successful.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255312)

Prohibition is a great example because drugs and gambling have two things in common: there's no victim.

Really? So when my step-father burned down the family home two days before Christmas for the insurance money so he could cover his gambling debits, neither I nor anyone else in my family was a victim? Wow. I feel -so- much better about sleeping in a homeless shelter as a kid. Thank you.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255352)

Callously worded, I'll grant you, but I don't think it's entirely wrong. That is:

You are not a victim of the fact that gambling exists. You are a victim of your stepfather's addiction. This doesn't make it any better for you, but it's worth realizing.

Trying to outlaw gambling to prevent that is a bit like trying to outlaw alcohol -- there are many victims of people in a drunken rage, but it doesn't get better when we try to outlaw it, and there are plenty of people who can drink responsibly. The problem is not the alcohol itself, it's the people who can't tolerate it.

In fact, if we try to outlaw everything that might be a dangerous addiction, we could start with alcohol, then move on to World of Warcraft, caffeine, television, and so on. I'd be amazed if we had anything left by the end of it.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255434)

Callously worded, I'll grant you, but I don't think it's entirely wrong. That is:

You are not a victim of the fact that gambling exists. You are a victim of your stepfather's addiction. This doesn't make it any better for you, but it's worth realizing.

Trying to outlaw gambling to prevent that is a bit like trying to outlaw alcohol -- there are many victims of people in a drunken rage, but it doesn't get better when we try to outlaw it, and there are plenty of people who can drink responsibly. The problem is not the alcohol itself, it's the people who can't tolerate it.

In fact, if we try to outlaw everything that might be a dangerous addiction, we could start with alcohol, then move on to World of Warcraft, caffeine, television, and so on. I'd be amazed if we had anything left by the end of it.

Thank you because I might have been a bit harsher without really intending it. The GP exhibits just the sort of emotionalism that needs to be REMOVED from these discussions entirely, at least if good public policy is our goal. Shit happens and sometimes people get traumatized by this. When traumatized, they look for something to blame, preferably something easier to blame than the individual human being who was responsible and could have chosen differently. Something easier to blame may include an inanimate object (drugs, guns) or a voluntary activity (gambling). This illogical, grief-driven process of scapegoating is quite understandable but we should not base policy decisions on it.

No casino forces anyone to gamble. No drug forces anyone to ingest it. No gun forces anyone to pick it up, load it up, point it at another person, and fire it. Those things are all completely passive elements. Without humans to actively engage them, the casino will become an abandoned building, the drug will rot and spoil, and the gun will rust. Sorry but his uncle's gambling problem is not a reason to take away EVERYONE'S right to choose to gamble, just like one car accident is not a reason to ban all automobiles.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255700)

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe for one moment that trying to ban gambling would work any better than prohibition did.

I just hate the argument that there are no victims of gambling (or any other vice you care to name). There may not be a victim in every case, but there are victims and there are plenty of good arguments against banning vice that don't require dismissing those who have been victimized.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255906)

It may be a fine point, and I'm certainly not trying to dismiss anyone...

I'm trying to draw a distinction between a victim of the vice itself, and a victim of a person who has that vice.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing that, though, as I wouldn't use that argument either.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256334)

Gambling didn't burn down your house. Your step-father did. His reasons behind it, if proven, are enough to show that it was arson and not accidental, but not enough to ban gambling even if it was possible. You might say he wouldn't have burned down the house without gambling debts, but I could also say he wouldn't have burned down the house if it wasn't for the existence of the knowledge necessary for humans to create fire, or there would be no money available to entice him to burn down his house if it wasn't for the existence of insurance.

Gambling, firearms, etc., should not be criminalized simply because criminal activity can be associated with them. The burden of legislation should be reversed; in other words, is there a legal reason for something to exist? Then it should be legal. Prosecute murderers, not all firearm owners. Arsonists and fraudsters, not gamblers. Even if he was an addict and his vice was gambling, in the beginning it was his poor choices that put him in that predicament.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

wonderboss (952111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255506)

Your step-father burning down the family home to pay of gambling debts implies that he owed the money to an organization other than a legitimate credit company. This implies organized crime, which exists partially due to the prohibition of gambling where your father in law gambled.

So I would say your step-father was victim of loan sharking and you were a victim of arson.

Addiction of all sorts needs to be treated as a medical problem, not a criminal one.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1, Interesting)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255742)

No, there wasn't any loan shark. His "buddies" just wouldn't play with him until he paid off what he owed them. Also, the arson wouldn't have been so bad if the insurance money had gone to a new house instead of being gambled away.

As I said in another post, I don't think banning gambling (or any other vice) is a solution. I just hate the argument that there are no victims when I've seen them and been one.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256014)

His buddies were the loan shark, and cutting him off was their way of breaking his legs. They're nice, but they're still loan sharks. IMHO, it's mostly their fault for letting him gamble with money he didn't have.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256376)

No, there wasn't any loan shark. His "buddies" just wouldn't play with him until he paid off what he owed them. Also, the arson wouldn't have been so bad if the insurance money had gone to a new house instead of being gambled away.

As I said in another post, I don't think banning gambling (or any other vice) is a solution. I just hate the argument that there are no victims when I've seen them and been one.

But that's just it. You're not a victim of gambling. You're a victim of your uncle's inability to confine his vices to himself and prevent them from affecting others. To give an analogy, you could consider drinking to be a vice. However, if I stay home, get drunk, watch a movie, and sleep it off, then I am confining the effects to me. Any liver damage, other health problems, or other dangers will be mine alone to experience. On the other hand, if someone gets drunk and then decides to drive drunk, they are endangering everyone else on the road. Other people who do not drink will suffer either the real damage of a car accident that was completely preventable or the potential damage of a much greater risk for one. The person who drives drunk has failed to confine his vice to himself.

So what's the difference between the person who uses alcohol appropriately and the person who drives drunk? Personal responsibility. But the flaw of driving drunk is in the person who refuses to be responsible. It's not found in the carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms that constitute the ethanol. People who are hit by drunk drivers are not victims of ethanol; they are victims of irresponsible people.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256648)

Also, the arson wouldn't have been so bad if the insurance money had gone to a new house instead of being gambled away.

You wouldn't think that if you were a firefighter who might have died. This is going to sound harsh but I hope that your Dad is behind bars. Arson is no laughing matter or victimless crime.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255844)

The crime of which your family was a victim was not gambling, but arson.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256066)

And take away the gambling and would the arson happen? Take away the drugs and would the mugging for drug money happen? You can't ignore a causal relationship just because it is one layer above the action. You can however argue that people should have more self control, or the fact that they commit these sort of actions are because they are outliers and defective individuals regardless of the gambling. That would be arguing that there is an even greater cause, namely the guy is unable to account for his actions in general and is a danger to society. To prove that you would have to show that gambling addiction is a rarity, a great exception to the rule. I think you might be hard pressed to do that.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256208)

And take away the gambling and would the arson happen? Take away the drugs and would the mugging for drug money happen?

The efforts to do both of those things have always failed. They only resulted in driving the behavior underground and creating huge amounts of organized crime. Since these are failed ideas, they should be off the table in any sane/rational discussion about how to handle things like gambling and drugs. Then and only then we might find a solution that does work. Until such time, it needs to be understood that those are failed ideas, and trying harder to implement a failed idea doesn't change the fact that it's a failed idea.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256336)

I'd actually argue that the extreme regulation of gambling and outright prohibition in certain areas has worked pretty well. If thats due to the lotto outlet or the highly regulated gambling houses in specific areas, I have no idea. But I personally haven't heard of major criminal enterprises based on numbers running or football betting causing too much trouble in the united states. The prohibition has certainly marginalized it.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256546)

But I personally haven't heard of major criminal enterprises based on numbers running or football betting causing too much trouble in the united states.

The first is due to governments taking over that industry; ever here of the lottery? Many states have them.
As for sports: http://www.ur.umich.edu/9899/Nov02_98/12.htm [umich.edu] This mentions it also: http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?key=/ncaa/ncaa/media+and+events/press+room/current+issues/sports+wagering [ncaa.org]

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256552)

Crap! Here should be hear. *sigh*

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256592)

Aye, thats why I included both regulation and outright prohibition.

If you fail, redefine success! Politics 101. (2, Interesting)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256484)

I am serious... however, one has to come up with a measure of success before something can be called a failure.
Argumentative types (clever fools) will claim anything they want is a failure by setting their own success levels to meet whatever their goal is; possibly being inconsistent as well.

Field of Dreams got it wrong: If people want it, somebody will build it.

The problem is one of regulation. Internet gambling is not regulated and therein is the problem. Corporations (and their websites) can outmaneuver the governments in the 'free' market and obviously in the black market (the more 'free' the market the more it resembles a black market; clearly not to the extreme ends of the analogy.) Mostly, government is upset that they can not TAX (aka regulate) internet gambling and the competing USA gambling interests are not happy either...

I wonder if the ban can hold. The WTO dictates the USA has no sovereignty on such things (they won't openly say it) and so the WTO is punishing the USA for this ban. Last I heard was the WTO was going to involve the media by allowing some nations to violate our copyright as punishment for going against the WTOs ruling against our nation's right to block unregulated gambling.

-
Question: When are we going to realize there is a population level where there are not enough viable jobs to go around?

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

alexhard (778254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255320)

It's also worth noting that virtually the only reason organized crime exists is because of the drug prohibition..the government is basically subsidizing the various mafias and drug cartels.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

semicolon_underscore (1177421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256098)

alcohol is actually more difficult to obtain than illegal drugs

Hint-hint. Wink-wink.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256668)

I am having a hard time understanding why government is even involved

Because it doesn't want the competition. Gambling is bad, unless it's sponsored by the state under the guise of funding education, and then it's just fine and dandy. As far as I'm concerned if the Federal Government wants to ban gambling it should start by outlawing interstate lotteries (the Federal Government arguably has the power to do this under the interstate commerce clause) and continue by encouraging the states to abandon their intrastate lotteries.

Otherwise it's just hypocrisy and more "do as I say but not as I do" from the people who are supposed to be working for us.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255344)

Kids using drugs is a problem, yes. Adults using drugs is a problem, too, but they should have the right to put whatever stupid crap they want into their bodies, be it cocaine, Drano, or a bullet (and on a really bad day, all three).

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2, Insightful)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256116)

Gambling is a sticky issue though. Not only is it proven to be addictive but it also affects poorer individuals much worse than richer. Check out the lotto lines in Baltimore if you want tangible evidence of that. I think its idealism that causes people to believe that individuals are always capable and usually do make informed rational decisions on subjects that have great implications.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255458)

If you don't apply the calculus correctly then you could argue that murder is hard to prosecute, therefore we should just allow it.

Murder directly hurts another human being. More technically, it denies them of basic rights, like the right to live.

Neither alcohol nor gambling does this. A father might beat his kid in a drunken rage, or bankrupt the family (even make them homeless) from gambling debts, but in this case, it is the father who is doing each of these. The alcohol, for one, is an inanimate object.

Ditto for all hard drugs. Should we allow unrestricted use of heroin and cocaine?

Yes.

Why shouldn't we?

the reality is that many youth don't know what's good for them,

And that is the real problem -- so educate them on what's good for them.

And again, drugs are inanimate objects. It's possible to abuse cough medicine, after all, just as it's possible to use cocaine properly -- consider coca tea.

need to have access to hard drugs removed to protect themselves

So, that works about as well as prohibition.

That is: These kids have about as much access as they always did. As causality says, these drugs may be easier to obtain than alcohol. Telling them "don't try it" is about as effective as abstinence-only education.

Now, I still haven't tried drugs and alcohol, but my parents actually went out of their way to explain the differences between drugs. They made it clear that they don't approve, but they also didn't lie to me about things like marijuana, which probably wouldn't be that harmful, versus cocaine and heroin, which would probably destroy my life.

to protect themselves from making poor decisions in the period they are still learning to evaluate choices maturely.

If it's about maturity, why are hard drugs illegal at any age, but alcohol is legal at 21?

It's also worth mentioning: The war on drugs, like prohibition, has significant collateral damage. Leaving drug convictions aside, there's still the massive network of organized crime that would utterly collapse if we started making and selling drugs legally. It would also cut the balls off of the real, bloody war that's happening in Mexico -- seems we can tolerate drug prohibition because the violence is down there, rather than in our back yard, as it was with alcohol prohibition -- but with Americans growing their own drugs, there wouldn't be so much traffic through Mexico.

There's also the deal the American government has struck with Peru, which includes an attempt to eradicate the Coca plant from Peru. Coca, as you may know, can be used to make cocaine, if processed and insanely concentrated. By itself, though, the coca leaf makes a mild tea, much milder than coffee -- and it's an important part of their culture, which we are killing off, because someone might make cocaine out of it.

Consider a world in which coffee was illegal. Sure, if you drink too much coffee, you get jittery, and the withdrawal headaches are painful. If you drink enough coffee, you could probably kill yourself. And coffee is fairly dilute -- suppose you took the syrup used to make fountain drinks, and just drank that straight, or snorted it. Don't you think that'd be dangerous? Clearly, we should regulate coffee to protect kids from themselves.

Apply the prohibition lesson liberally, until it sinks in. If you can't tell the difference between murder and alcoholism, you clearly haven't learned the lesson of prohibition.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (2)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256284)

Peripheral damages are certainly a viable reason for prohibition. Consumer protection, environmental, and public health initiatives all contain fine examples of that. In an even more general sense, preventative measures in public policy are quite common. To take your automobile example, you can only drive certain types of automobiles due to the increased danger certain designs present to others driving, you, and any occupants you bring along.

In addition, your belief that knowledge will solve all problems is ludicrous. I would actually argue that most decisions made are not rational and informed. This is compounded in adolescents who have a late development of their prefrontal cortex, which impedes their ability to weigh decisions well. The point of the matter is, despite a prevailing idealism that you are the master of a single consciousness, the reality of the situation is quite different.

I would, however agree with your argument about the costs of prohibition. In marijuana alone, a simple review of the costs/benefits reveals that prohibition of that drug is insane. I encourage an impartial, well funded cost/benefit analysis on the hard drugs as well. I think American drug policy is going down one crazy road.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (3, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256602)

Peripheral damages are certainly a viable reason for prohibition.

I demand that you stop driving; it can kill people. I wonder how many more people are killed by cars than drugs? Cars kill ~40000 in the US. Drugs kill ~17000. Poor diet killed ~365000.
"Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000," Journal of the American Medical Association, March 10, 2004, Vol. 291, No. 10, pp. 1238, 1241.

Consumer protection, environmental, and public health initiatives all contain fine examples of that.

You will note that those programs are far from unopposed. The health issue in particular attracts a huge amount of debate.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (0)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256636)

Thats why I call for a Costs/Benefits argument. The Benefits of driving in general greatly outweigh the Costs.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (1)

bnenning (58349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255942)

If you don't apply the calculus correctly then you could argue that murder is hard to prosecute, therefore we should just allow it.

Murder is much easier to prosecute than drug crimes, mainly because it's almost always obvious when a murder occurs.

Re:Nothing escapes the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256294)

If you don't apply the calculus correctly then you could argue that murder is hard to prosecute, therefore we should just allow it. After all, prohibition failed. Ditto for all hard drugs. Should we allow unrestricted use of heroin and cocaine?

Let's examine what you just said shall we, oh oracle of knowledge?

Homicide is a mortal sin so no man-made law is necessary. Alcohol and naturally occurring drug use is not a mortal sin. Therefore, and in light of the failures of both these prohibitions, decriminalization should be the first step. The wealthy use illegal drugs yet rarely suffer the same punishment, if at all, as those of lower socio-economic status. I could continue with the government approved sales of tobacco products which are known to contain manufacturer added chemicals some of which are deadly. The Government is tyrannical and must be returned to its rightful status as SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE, NOT MASTER OF THE PEOPLE.

definition of what constitutes Internet gambling (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255182)

Don't forget to include "buying stocks on-line." After all, the stock market IS gambling.

And "mail-order Russian brides."

And "Investing in Internet companies".

These all meet any definition of online gambling that would include wagers on the outcome of an event, same as betting on horse races, football games, and powerball draws.

Re: definition of what constitutes Internet gambli (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255590)

What about eBay? Buying something from China for 99 cents is a risky gamble too!

Re:Nothing escapes the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256216)

Fuck the Federal Reserve!

Re:Nothing escapes the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256246)

I see PayPal rising to the opportunity to act as an intermediary between the online gambling houses and the gambling public. Through PayPal it is now possible to accept payment from one party to the PayPal account of the second party and the second party can deposit those funds into an actual bank account or apply it against a credit card in the form of, wait for it, a credit.

Can an American explain it to me? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254858)

Is there any American out there who can explain to me how it's somehow "wrong" when somebody chooses to risk their money betting on poker or blackjack games, but it's perfectly acceptable (and even promoted as a "patriotic duty") to gamble in corporate stocks that often offer greater risk and worse returns?

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254920)

Its nothing to do with right or wrong. Its just because US gambling businesses are losing money to overseas gambling sites.
The ban was done on "moral" grounds. If its morally wrong to gamble over the internet why do they allow betting on horses etc?

The WTO has repeatedly told the US to stop this (or at least change it so the same rules apply to everyone) after Antigua
complained. I haven't heard anything new since Antigua applied to the WTO to remedy this (by getting an exemption to copyrights
on US goods I believe).

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254936)

It's "wrong" to let people do it from the comfort of their own homes at the click of a button.

Gambling should be legal but take some sort of effort to do.

Having said that, sending all that money overseas out of the US economy doesn't seem like it's going to help anybody.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254986)

sending all that money overseas out of the US economy doesn't seem like it's going to help anybody.

umm....the country where it's going?

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256360)

He should've said it doesn't help anybody us Americans care about!

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255056)

It's "wrong" to let people do it from the comfort of their own homes at the click of a button.

So we should outlaw sports bookies, too? All you have to do is pick up the phone, right?

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255770)

Yes. There is no accountability in either situation. No way to prove the fairness of online gambling and no way to track all the bookies accounts (who most likely is 1-overing everyone).
 
In short, leave all the gambling to those who know how to do it right: Native American reservations. (Seriously, they know indian-giving like no one else.)

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256042)

If you want accountability, you need regulation. You can't regulate an illegal activity. When you make something illegal you give up the ability to control it.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256172)

Yes. There is no accountability in either situation. No way to prove the fairness of online gambling and no way to track all the bookies accounts (who most likely is 1-overing everyone).

The solution for that is, as usual, legalize, regulate (and tax).

For now, I suggest you avoid the small fly-by-night outfits. The larger operators have a lot to lose to allegations of fraud so they are very diligent to not give any excuse, they are also under a lot more scrutiny (including statistical analysis) and some of them actively work with regulatory organizations to be licensed in their respective countries.
For example, the largest online poker room, PokerStars [wikipedia.org] , is licensed both by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, and the Italian Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255090)

Who the fuck are you to dictate how I should be allowed to spend my money?

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255876)

Why? Its not harming you. Worst case scenario I lose all my money. It doesn't affect you.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255278)

I can't quite work out why some of the other countries who host online gambling sites haven't complained to the WTO. The UK (the Isle of Man especially) hosts a large number of sites, and the US has arrested non-US citizens for running sites that are perfectly legal in the country they are running them in. How the hell can the US consider that right, in any way, shape or form?

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255388)

The Las Vegas casino industry formed an alliance with the Christian fundamentalists to campaign against offshore gambling, "It's better to have to gambling permitted under regulated legislation in the country than to have a unlicensed gambling offshore" was the compromise position.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256382)

I agree with that position. The inevitable question to it, of course, is whats stopping us from licensing the offshore gambling. Then you have the response "Gambling should be a local issue, not interfered with by the federal government." Then you respond "by making it illegal you are making the decision on the federal level" and they respond "alright so how about we license them, but part of the licensing is they have to verify that you are not a resident of an area where gambling is not allowed." To that, I'm at a loss. So does anyone want to continue this argument I'm having with myself?

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (4, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254928)

>>Is there any American out there who can explain to me how it's somehow "wrong"

There's been a long, long history of considering gambling to be a social evil. To a certain extent, I sympathize with it, as I had a friend inherit a house, move to Vegas, and a year later have no house. He runs a fish store now, in Bakersfield. (Bakersfield!)

That said, I think the government should only be involved in online gambling to prevent fraud and enforce contracts. (You know, the main reason why government should be involved in any business - enforcing the rule of law.)

If all gambling is fraud (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255026)

I think the government should only be involved in online gambling to prevent fraud and enforce contracts.

Anti-gambling advocates would claim that telling customers "you can win" is itself fraud.

Re:If all gambling is fraud (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255290)

how many customers go into the casino and actually expect to win something? my guess would be a rather small minority. just because a few can't handle it, should that ruin the entertainment for everyone else?

Re:If all gambling is fraud (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255874)

If you don't expect to win, you're an idiot for going into a casino.

(And yes, I know how high the odds are stacked on the casino's side. Read between the lines.)

Re:If all gambling is fraud (2, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256304)

Why would that make you an idiot? I don't expect to win anything when I go the cinema for two hours (in fact, I expect to lose: the admission price), but I still might do it because it was an entertaining experience.

Re:If all gambling is fraud (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256364)

I don't expect to walk out of seeing a movie with more money that I walked in with, so I'm an idiot for going to the movies?

I don't expect to make money watching my kid play sport on the weekend, so I'm an idiot for doing so?

I don't expect come out ahead financially when I go to a bar with friends, so I'm an idiot for doing that?

I don't expect to ever see any of the $50 I paid for a new video game back, so I'm an idiot for buying and play it?

I pay my ISP each month, so I'm an idiot for browsing the web and using email?

I had breakfast at a cafe this morning, idiot again?

Re:If all gambling is fraud (2, Insightful)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256408)

Theres plenty of us that don't believe a single fact can change how you view things. Call it complicity with the psychoanalysts, but I just don't find people of one mind and totally rational. "Well, i know chances are I won't win anything. But imagine how great it would be if I did. If I don't go and try, that awesome great thing will never happen, and I would have to give up on that dream. I don't want to do that."

Re:If all gambling is fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255408)

Whatever happened to 'Buyer Beware'?

People need to wake up to the concept that EVERY financial transaction, be it gum at the convenience store, or international funds transfer, there is no guarantee. Everything has risk associated with it. Somewhere along the way, enough people bitched to have their own stupidity covered by insurance. Conscious action isn't something that needs, or should have, a constant safety net.

Re:If all gambling is fraud (2, Informative)

fatray (160258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255470)

Anti-gambling advocates would claim that telling customers "you can win" is itself fraud.

This may be true of casino gambling where you play against the casino and the game is designed so that the odds favor the casino. There are forms of gambling where you play against the other players and the casino only books the bets--for a fee. Those are poker, sports betting and horse racing (and possibly others that I'm not remembering). Poker and sports betting are beatable for the skilled player. I'm not sure about horse racing because the tracks (+etc) take a pretty large cut of the action as their fee.

I think that poker and sports betting are the majority of on line gambling and their fees are much smaller than real world poker rooms or sports bookies. Therefore, you actually have a better chance of winning if you do this on line(this rash statement has a lot of implicit assumptions, such as the competence of the competition is the same in both venues).

Re:If all gambling is fraud (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256314)

>>Anti-gambling advocates would claim that telling customers "you can win" is itself fraud.

Telling people "You WILL win" is fraud. Telling people they CAN win is not... unless it's a rigged game like 3-card monty.

I once put a nickel into a slot machine at Chuckchansi, telling him my "strategy for slots" was to hit the jackpot every time. I hit the button, and made 15 bucks off of it. His expression was priceless.

Re:If all gambling is fraud (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256338)

Anti-gambling advocates would claim that telling customers "you can win" is itself fraud.

Why?
There are always winners and losers in such games. It is just that the house edge makes sure that, over time, the total sum of player wins is somewhat less that the total sum of player losses.

So it is a fact is that you _can_ win. Another fact, which is unfortunately rarely mentioned, is that if you are playing against the house, statistically you are more likely to lose.

I don't know about the brick & mortar establishments, but the online casinos usually publish the odds for the games that they offer. For example, the slots machine games for a certain company (that I would not name here) were programmed for a return rate of between 95% and 97.5% (depending on the game) and that was advertised on the site, not to mention audited by licensing agencies as well as statistically analyzed by independent "critics".

On the other hand, you have games like poker where skill plays a much bigger role than luck [digg.com] and the room just takes a small rake for providing the environment to play in. In that case, not only you _can_ win, some people do it consistently.

Re:If all gambling is fraud (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256354)

Gaak! Sorry for the Digg link.
Here is the actual article [go.com] .

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255066)

It's queer how you people think.

Invading Afghanistan and Iraq, without any provocation from them, and killing millions of innocent civilians... PATRIOTIC!

Preventing two men or two women who are in love with each other from marrying... PATRIOTIC!

Forcing people into bankruptcy over essential healthcare... PATRIOTIC!

Risking your own money on stocks, bonds and other financial instruments... PATRIOTIC!

Risking other people's money on stocks, bonds and other financial instruments... PATRIOTIC!

Risking your own money on a game of cards... SOCIAL EVIL!

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255286)

Invading Afghanistan and Iraq, without any provocation from them, and killing millions of innocent civilians... PATRIOTIC! Preventing two men or two women who are in love with each other from marrying... PATRIOTIC! Forcing people into bankruptcy over essential healthcare... PATRIOTIC!

Now those where not needed to make your point. I don't think they have anything to do with the economic morals of what you want to place your money in. On the other hand i think it would be true to the American spirit to let people decide how they spend their money and what gamble they put it in. When playing a hand of cards it's a fast investment and a fast profit/loss while buying stock mostly nets you a smaller profit or a smaller loss. I still think America got something right when they chose to let people decide where to put their money. -non-US AC

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255972)

...without any provocation from them...

What? Ever hear of 9/11? The Taliban? Who were on a rampage destroying anything that didn't adhere to their "Moral Code". Saddam Hussein who all but dared the rest of the world to "Stop Him".

Sorry, but, I'm not a big supporter of the war(s), but, to argue that there was absolutely no provocation is disingenuous at best.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256164)

...Iraq, without any provocation from them...

What? Ever hear of 9/11? The Taliban?

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256448)

Invading Afghanistan ...without any provocation from them...

What? Ever hear of 9/11? The Taliban?

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

His argument stands, he should only go directly to jail for replying to a troll. As should I.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254960)

Look at the difference between Internet gambling and having to gamble in person.

With the Internet, it is so easy to lose money. You hop on, gamble, and there goes your money. At least with a casino, you have to make the effort of going there in person.

But, personally, I don't think credit cards should be used to facilitate any form of gambling, Internet or otherwise. If you don't have the money, perhaps you shouldn't be gambling.

Plus, letting online gambling be legal would pose the question of how the government regulates something that could end up costing you your house. Can anyone imagine losing their house because the government didn't properly regulate a given industry? Have we ever had something like that happen? Hmmm...

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255048)

Or.. you know... there's that whole _personal responsiblity_ thing. The government maybe has a role in basic regulation and education (e.g. gamblers anonymous), but that's it.

Hmm...I agree. (0)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255982)

You should be personally responsible for preventing me from breaking into your house, murdering you and your family, and stealing all your possessions. If you can't be personnaly responsible, then you don't deserve life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness (wealth).

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255566)

You wouldn't lose your house because online gambling isn' properly regulated, you'd lose your house because you're dumb. Nobody forced you gamble for the stakes you can't handle.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256470)

You would lose your house because gambling is predatory on common human psychology. Or you could say its predatory on dumb people.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

bnenning (58349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255922)

Plus, letting online gambling be legal would pose the question of how the government regulates something that could end up costing you your house.

How is that going to happen exactly? Online casinos aren't in the business of extending credit; you have to make a deposit before you can gamble, and that deposit is all you can lose. Yes, if you sell your house to fund your account and lose it all then you're screwed, but that's also the case if you sold your house to buy Citigroup stock 5 years ago.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (2, Insightful)

bocin (886008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255178)

I'm sure the history of gambling prohibition has root in some B.S. moral/religious grounds. Gambling does seem to lose most, if not all, of its EVIL value when regulated by government.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256502)

The moral argument comes from the relationship between the gambling house and the gambler. I'm a secular humanist and I see gambling as the exploitation of irrationality, thus I'm certainly not in favor of it. That in addition to the fact that most of the evils of gambling are shouldered by poor individuals, furthering the idea of the little guy getting exploited. These sort of themes would strike a chord with religious and non-religious individuals alike. I guess you could argue that the predisposition to this argument is bullshit, however.

Re:Can an American explain it to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256328)

I wonder, are there any state that don't have a lottery? We all know what this is really about, not getting their cut (ie taxes) and what they see as competition to their gambling (even though it's not).

Ummmm...it's 'overseas' (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254924)

Which part of this plan isn't going to work out too well? Am I missing something obvious...?

Re:Ummmm...it's 'overseas' (1)

crasher35 (787091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255244)

All that this law will do is force those who want to pursue online gambling to use a foreign bank account to get their kick. It might deter some, but the determined will still do what they want. I understand the U.S. government's concern over gambling and the devastating effect it can have on many people's lives, however, the government is not our mommy or daddy. It just needs to mind its own business and let the people and their local communities deal with the problem. That is what society is for. The federal government, however, needs to learn to let people live their lives and make their own mistakes. If people ruin their own lives, they need to deal with it like the adults that they are.

Re:Ummmm...it's 'overseas' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255354)

All that this law will do is force those who want to pursue online gambling to use a foreign bank account to get their kick. It might deter some, but the determined will still do what they want. I understand the U.S. government's concern over gambling and the devastating effect it can have on many people's lives, however, the government is not our mommy or daddy. It just needs to mind its own business and let the people and their local communities deal with the problem. That is what society is for. The federal government, however, needs to learn to let people live their lives and make their own mistakes. If people ruin their own lives, they need to deal with it like the adults that they are.

Remember when you were young and Mama felt a need to tell you that it's cold out so you should wear your jacket? She had no faith in your ability to take a look outside, see for yourself that it's cold, and take your own measures against it (i.e. equipping a jacket). Even if you had seen this a hundred times and knew what to do, she would still feel a need to remind you of what should be obvious. Or all the times she would say "be careful!" when you went outside, as though your intention was to be reckless and get hurt.

Well, that's cute and quaint when Mama did it and you were a child. It's ugly as fuck when government wants to do this with adults. There is a war against two things right now, only the media won't call it that: there is a war against individuality and there is a war against masculinity. It's not really Big Brother that we need to worry about. Big Sister or Big Mama is the flavor of today's statecraft at least in the USA. The idea of responsible adults who make their own decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions is anathema to Big Sister, because she knows what's good for you. "Why, if people could live their lives and make their own mistakes, someone might get hurt! We better expand the police power of government in a futile effort to prevent it!" Or at least that's how the thinking goes... It's a soft sort of tyranny and therefore harder to oppose, but make no mistake, it absolutely is tyranny and it's right here in the USA.

Antigua? how long be for they get to use free ip o (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254944)

Antigua? how long be for they get to use free ip of us software and movies / music from the us over this?

Re:Antigua? how long be for they get to use free i (3, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254968)

A site called zookz tried this. $9.99 per month for unlimited downloads of 1500 movies & 50000 music tracks.
They claimed a WTO ruling allowed them to do this. It disappeared after about 3 days.

we never had this problem on FidoNet (1)

TravisHein (981987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254982)

the most you could do was rack up (a debt of) credits for the door games

Re:we never had this problem on FidoNet (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255064)

the most you could do was rack up (a debt of) credits for the door games

You just weren't calling the right boards. ;)

Who wants to bet with me? (2, Interesting)

ud plasmo (842308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255128)

A hundred bucks this ban gets overturned by Congress before six months is up.

Re:Who wants to bet with me? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255264)

200 says that congress will still act like congress and won't turn down a chance to regulate even more.

Why can't we have on line sports betting in the us (3, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255148)

Why can't we have on line sports betting in the us?

We can tax it and make money off it vs not getting tax on the people who sent there money to places out side of the us to do the same thing.

Re:Why can't we have on line sports betting in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255254)

It makes no sense why gambling on Sports is illegal, while you can go to Nevada and get ripped off on unfair odds in poker or craps. At least with sports there is a 50\50 chance, well... depending on who is the better team. I don't see a problem with gambling on sports as long as it doesn't get corrupted.

Lotteries (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255160)

Does this mean I can't buy lottery tickets online anymore?

OK. No more stock or futures purchases online! (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255190)

Of course, this doesn't mean diddly outside of the USA which makes it pure posturing for the rubes back home in BF, Iowa.

Cheers!

Sadly it's not an isolated problem. (3, Insightful)

Wardish (699865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255394)

Internet gambling is just one facet of the real problem.

Somewhere along the line we changed from being citizens of the government to dependents of the government. We lost much of our freedom to do as we wish with minimal intrusions by the government. Phrases such as "For the good of all", "It's for your own good", "It will save many lives.", and of course the classic that's applied to far to many situations, "It's for the children.".

I'm not saying there isn't a place for government meddling, just that it should be kept to a bare minimum with a very high burden of proof to create and just to make sure, it should regularly expire and have to pass the same burden to reenact.

The real fact is, you are not free unless you have the right to fail. Gambling away your life or house is fail. I believe they used many of the same arguments to enact prohibition as they are using for gambling now. Think about it.

Re:Sadly it's not an isolated problem. (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256556)

That sort of relationship never existed, or if it did, you'd have to certainly look into pre-greek history to find it.

Poker is not gambling (1)

genjix (959457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255704)

Poker is my life and I'm a professional player who makes my living off Poker. The passing of the UIGEA will stop many others playing this game online. The games will get harder because the drunk guy who comes home and decides to have a game of Poker will not be able to. Also the talented teenager who could be the next Tiger Woods of Poker will have his potential lost due to a retarded law and instead be working at MacDonalds.

Why live casino Poker is allowed but online isn't, doesn't make much moral sense. Lucky I'm from the UK where the laws wrt to Poker *actually* make sense.

Re:Poker is not gambling (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256564)

So wait a second, you argue that your livelihood is based on people making stupid decisions and we should somehow protect it? Thats a pretty idiotic proposition.

WTF??? Did not WTO rule against this? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255732)

I do not have the time to Google for this, but I was under impression that WTO ruled against US on this very issue. It seems weird that nearly all states have gambling, but now, we are against gambling offshore via the net??????? What total garbage.

Re:WTF??? Did not WTO rule against this? (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255938)

Just for you: Yes they did. [slashdot.org]

No countries listen to the WTO/UN/etc. What are they going to do, sanction them?

So you can't settle a debt? (1)

Dread_ed (260158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255736)

If the wording in the summary is accurate and "settling a debt" is prohibited what is to stop the sites from charging a "membership fee" or a "security deposit" before you gamble. Then they deduct the loss from the amount you have already deposited. The transaction is made before you actually owe anything so it's not "settling a debt."

Re:So you can't settle a debt? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256400)

And if you win?

It's going to be hard to get people to pay a membership fee/security deposit if there's no way to pay out winnings.

Damn! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256574)

They had sought a 12-month delay ...

I had seven months in the pool.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?