Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

cancel ×

296 comments

...in USA (0, Offtopic)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755176)

In the UK (most of the rest of the world, actually) I'll be free to continue spending my time and my money gambling whenever I feel like it.

Re:...in USA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755216)

Actually this article only concerns the state of Massachusetts in the USA. So, I'm really not sure why this is on /..

Re:...in USA (5, Informative)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755712)

Slashdot is mostly centered around the United States. And in case you're unaware, the United States is a bunch of united states with their own separate laws. Not that much is legislated federally; news about Massachusetts law (a particularly influential state, in fact) is as notable as any other legal news.

Enforcement? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755280)

How in the world do you enforce this? RIAA style dragnets?

Re:Enforcement? (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755376)

How in the world do you enforce this? RIAA style dragnets?

NSA sniffs at ISP's.

Army and Air Force will take you down.

FBI will freeze your money.

IRS will collect taxes from your winnings even while you don't get your money back.

Next question?

Re:Enforcement? (3, Interesting)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755380)

and how do you diferenciate between diferent games of skill? What is the diference between say a poker game with a $20 per player entry fee and say a Warhammer (minature wargames) competition with the same entry fee with the entry fee being used in the same way to provide prizes.

Re:Enforcement? (3, Interesting)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755680)

That wouldn't be a new problem, nor is it a difficult one. State laws in the United States regulate gambling by stuff like the number of tables in play and the number of machines in play, as well as whether the company makes a business out of operating a gambling establishment. Even non-casinos are (and should be) subject to regulation like the rule saying that no purchase can be necessary to enter a contest or else it's legally a lottery.

Also, why would you say that a Warhammer tournament with entrance fees and a big prize should be less regulated than a poker tournament?

Re:Enforcement? (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755440)

You identify the gambling company to the credit-card company and say "if you want to do business in this state you will block transactions to these companies".

If that drives people to mail cash around, you wait for the usual money-laundering detection mechanisms to kick in.

Difficulty in policing something isn't a reason to allow a crime to be legal.

Re:Enforcement? (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755516)

No, but sometimes difficulty in policing something is used for the specific purpose of keeping something from becoming illegal.

For instance, was the 4th amendment maybe designed to make crimes like "sedition" effectively impossible to prosecute? I say yes.

Re:Enforcement? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755590)

No, the 4th amendment was designed to make sedition legal, by banning laws against it.

It's effectively impossible to prosecute it because it's not legal to prosecute it.

Seriously, did you really see that any other way?

Re:Enforcement? (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755772)

It's not that it's illegal to prosecute it. As far as I know, Congress could easily pass a law to create such a crime, without running afoul of the Constitution (assuming they wrote their law to skirt around 1st-amendment protections at least. which is a big if.)

What the 4th amendment does is create significant legal barriers in evidence-gathering to prosecute such a crime. It doesn't say "congress shall pass no law ... ", it simply promises that, if such a law is ever passed, it will remain effectively unenforcible.

Re:Enforcement? (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755520)

What if the credit card processor isn't an US company? It's not like the state can really ban them, and theres credit card processors that only work online.

I don't see them banning and going into fight with Visa/Mastercard over this, especially since it's just one state. It would hurt people of Mass. even more.

Re:Enforcement? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755622)

In order for the credit card processor to get its money from a person whose money is in the U.S., it has to go to a U.S. bank, and the banks are all tied into the same system for transferring funds, and if you believe the myth that only transactions over $9999 are tracked by the feds, then I'd like to play poker against you.

As I said, if the person has to resort to offshore accounts and moving cash across the border, the usual means of detecting money laundering come into play.

Re:Enforcement? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755642)

Oh, and as for Visa/Mastercard, they are already under the thumb of the government for international online gaming. No major credit card company now will accept charges from international gaming companies.

Re:Enforcement? (2, Interesting)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755914)

Difficulty in policing something isn't a reason to allow a crime to be legal.

The jury has been out on that for a few hundred years now. Consider 1.) An unenforceable (de jure) law ultimately rewards the dishonest while punishing only the honest who confess their crime (Hobbes). And 2.) From a political standpoint, unenforceable legislation creates the appearance of real moral authority without risk of alienating those constituents who would be punished if were enforceable. Public disregard for enforceability therefore promotes dishonesty of both the citizen and the official -- exactly the sort of business an ethical society should avoid.

Re:...in USA (2, Informative)

reidconti (219106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755344)

Yes. That's why both the subject and the summary mention Massachusetts. It's a state. You may have heard of it. It is part of the United States of America.

Re:...in USA (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755438)

I think that the Red Socks play baseball there...

Re:...in USA (1, Flamebait)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755598)

No, but the Red Sox do, scumbags that they are.

GO ANGELS!!!

Re:...in USA (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755690)

I think that the Red Socks play baseball there...

Then obviously this bill sucks!

Go Yankees!

...to be pedantic... (1)

NevDull (170554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755480)

It's a commonwealth and not a state...

Re:...to be pedantic... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755660)

Some say it's a socialist republic.

They are trying to make a point they don't understand.

Re:...to be pedantic... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755786)

to be pedantic, it's a state.

It has chosen to give itself an honorific title of Commonwealth, as have 3 other states. And I'm fine with that. But at the end of the day, it's a state like any other, and no one outside of the government itself on its own letterhead really needs to adhere to this title.

Puerto Rico also is called a Commonwealth, but it's not a state. So, I think referring to Massachusetts as a state is far more accurate and appropriate.

Re:...to be pedantic... (1)

EvanTaylor (532101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755906)

All commonwealths are states, not all states are commonwealths.

It is a term very much grounded in political ideology, and used by separatist states after they gain independence. It's like declaring that your new state is of the people and not of the state or monarchy or oligarchy (let's not debate that last one).

It makes less sense for American states, but a lot more for former British/Russian states.

Victimless crimes.. (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755198)

Why is it that in 2010 we still try to create even more victimless crimes? Even if I'm against the object of the crime itself, I'm very much opposed to my tax dollars being wasted on people who want to do it.

I don't care if my neighbor plays poker. I do care if I have to pay money because my neighbor plays poker.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755262)

Agreed.

And honestly, I don't participate in Online Gambling myself, but I think people who want to should have that right. I hope they meet more resistance than just the minority of people who play.

The next thing I need is some bill saying I can't visit an MMO because they too are an online service depriving me of my money. It's my call to make. If you have a problem with gambling, go ahead and try to get it outright banned. Otherwise, targetting just the online sector of it is just silly. Why does the internet make a process any more illegal or immoral?

Re:Victimless crimes.. (2, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755356)

What's more, even the victims of gambling (friends and family who are abused to fund the gambling and the addicts themselves) are not helped by this bill. Why? Because gambling addiction is generally a psychological addiction or a bad coping mechanism, all of which will express themselves in other areas if the addict can't gamble.

All that this is the establishment of a monopoly to the benefit of a few existing operators, and a guaranteed income stream for the government establishing the monopoly. The funding promises are mere figleaves to make the law more palatable to everyone.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755428)

It's not that the states really care about you gambling, they just want to have the revenue from it themselves instead of it going to someones Internet business.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755698)

So declare internet gamblinb legal in their state and tax all the companies that setup there.

Of course, the feds won't let that happen - see "medical marijuana".

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

Romberg (1041416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755732)

Why would you 'setup' your internet gambling company there, then? There are plenty of other states and countries you can host from.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755810)

The feds wouldn't blink an eye. Gambling is legal; transmission of gambling information by interstate telecommunications is not (except for the broadcast of horse and dog races; don't ask me why, I don't care).

The medical marijuana thing is still an ongoing tussle between the states and the feds.

They'd stay out of it if MA wanted to allow its casinos to hook up its citizens online. They'd get mighty pissed if those casinos colocated their servers in Connecticut.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755768)

That makes no sense. They can regulate and tax online, intrastate gambling as easily they do a brick-and-mortar casino. But ensuring the games aren't skimmed, and preventing gambling addiction, is far more expensive and difficult online.

This law doesn't change interstate or international law one bit. It is redundant with them. It is, however, banning intrastate internet gaming, while at the same time legalizing gaming in the state.

If in the future someone finds a way to prevent compulsive gambling, or to ensure 100% compliance of internet systems to tracking rules, then maybe the law can be changed. I don't blame the state for not wanting to go down that road right now, though.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31756018)

Please mod parent insightful for restating the last sentence of the summary.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755412)

How can you call this a victimless crime when you've already been victimized by your own ignorance of the ease with which online gambling becomes online fleecing of the player?

Re:Victimless crimes.. (3, Insightful)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755484)

Can you really call someone who chooses to do any particular act a "victim"? Unless there's deception (that isn't part of the act in some way) I'd have a hard time calling the loser a "Victim". Is the guy who loses in a boxing match a victim?

Re:Victimless crimes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755982)

It depends on whether the "match" happened in a dark alley, or whether the boxer trusted his trainer/promoter but they took money and sacrificed him against a better boxer to build up the latter's reputation, or any of a number of other factors. Basically, there's a lot of ways to tilt the playing field so it's not even, in boxing and in online gambling.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755488)

How can you call this a victimless crime when you've already been victimized by your own ignorance of the ease with which online gambling becomes online fleecing of the player?

Since all gambling is fleecing, either ban it entirely or allow it.

I would say it isn't fleecing because everybody knows the likely outcome, even if the want to pretend otherwise (that they'll be the one lucky winner out of millions).

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755546)

Lets see here.

Person A willingly decides to gamble online, they make online gambling illegal, Person A continues to gamble, Person A gets prosecuted at my expense. Who wins in this scenario? I certainly don't, neither does Person A.

Unless someone disturbs me, or endangers me, I shouldn't have to waste my money prosecuting them. Yeah, keep murders, thieves and other violent criminals out of the streets, but online gamblers? Why does it matter? They aren't affecting me.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755716)

Person A gambles away every penny he has, aided by the con game being run by the online poker service.

Person A then goes on welfare, taking even more of your money than it would have cost to stop his online gambling.

The only hypocrisy in this is that Person A will probably end up broke at the Wewannafuckyu Casino on Rte 128. But far fewer will, and they won't be cheated in the process, just ground into meaningless flesh by their own stupidity.

See, stupid is a victimless crime. Conning someone out of their money is not. Knowingly committing an act deemed to have deleterious implications to the welfare of the community, also is not.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755848)

Someone who is addicted to gambling will do it in whatever way they can. Physical or online casinos, the lottery, stock trading, or heck, even buying bottles of soda to win $10K.

And for every "problem" gambler there are 20 more who go to the casinos for fun. And many, many, many, many more who go there on vacation to say Las Vegas and gamble just that once.

Plus, it is a fundamental right to be able to do whatever with your money that doesn't harm anyone other than yourself.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755868)

Person A gambles away every penny he has, aided by the con game being run by the online poker service.

What con game? How exactly is person A being defrauded of money? Losing all your money by voluntarily playing poker on a site isn't the same as being defrauded off your money.

Gambling leaves a trail of victims (3, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755508)

Gambling isn't even remotely victimless- why do you think there are recovery groups for gambling addiction?

Casinos are specifically and carefully designed to exploit people's natural instincts (for example, no windows so you have no sense of time) and mental illnesses; the layout of the floor is done purposefully, as are the style of the games. There's a wealth of information out there for anyone with access to Google Scholar [google.com] , for example, like this [springerlink.com] :

The pattern of convictions for various categories of crime in the population of the United Kingdom was compared with the corresponding pattern in a sample of addictive gamblers drawn from Gamblers Anonymous in the U.K. A distinctive pattern of income-generating crime was found to be statistically associated with pathological gambling. This pattern was compared with other distinctive patterns associated with the intake of alcohol and with various other drugs and it was found to resemble most closely that of addiction to narcotic drugs. The possible role of gambling as a contributory cause of crime is discussed in the light of what is known of the issues surrounding other addictions as causes of their distinctive patterns of crime.

I don't care if my neighbor plays poker. I do care if I have to pay money because my neighbor plays poker.

You have to pay when your neighbor robs the local convenience store to pay the rent/mortgage/grocer (or their gambling debts, or just to gamble more), loses the house/apartment anyway, and their spouse and child are now homeless and on welfare. Or the person becomes homeless, with no health insurance, and ends up in the hospital. Or goes mentally insane and stabs you on the street corner for the $10 in your wallet.

Take a look at the police spending in any community pre-and-post casino. It always skyrockets after the casinos move in, because casinos attract the desperate, mentally ill, and criminal.

Re:Gambling leaves a trail of victims (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755624)

...and police spending has to do with ONLINE gaming how?

Re:Gambling leaves a trail of victims (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755692)

Correlation is not causation. We could say the same thing about almost anything. Why have movie theaters? Because we all -know- that movie theaters attract teenagers with violent and sexy movies, and teenagers cause vandalism! Just look at the crime rates with towns that have teenagers and towns that don't!

You have to pay when your neighbor robs the local convenience store to pay the rent/mortgage/grocer (or their gambling debts, or just to gamble more),

One could say that about -anything- pleasurable. Yet I hope you are sane enough to realize that banning everything pleasurable is not the way to go.

loses the house/apartment anyway, and their spouse and child are now homeless and on welfare.

Yeah, because again, we know that -never- happens with anything else.

Or the person becomes homeless, with no health insurance, and ends up in the hospital.

Simple, they pay for their healthcare or take out a loan.

Or goes mentally insane and stabs you on the street corner for the $10 in your wallet.

Of course! Mental illness is caused by gambling! Along with everything else right? Lets just ban everything other than water and bread. But wait! Bread can cause obesity and water can cause drowning! Best ban that too!

Re:Gambling leaves a trail of victims (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31756074)

One could say that about -anything- pleasurable. Yet I hope you are sane enough to realize that banning everything pleasurable is not the way to go.

Fortunately nobody but you has proposed banning everything pleasurable. So far they are just banning (actually just RESTRICTING) a few things that are pleasurable to some people but cause severe problems for many of those people, and for society at large.

But hey, if you want to suggest they are on the verge of banning nose picking in the privacy of your own home, your only making yourself look silly.

Yeah, because again, we know that -never- happens with anything else.

So if something has more than one cause, then apparently you feel we should ignore addressing a major known cause unless we address ALL possible causes at the same time?

That's some pretty messed up logic.

Simple, they pay for their healthcare or take out a loan.

And if they have no money or equity against which to borrow? "Simple, they die in the streets as god intended." ??

I'm not sure I want to live in your "ideal society".

Re:Gambling leaves a trail of victims (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#31756078)

You sound like one of those people who said that Florida would become the murder capital of the world as every fender-bender turned into a shootout when Florida switch to a shall-issue Conceal and Carry state.

Yeah. Chicken Little is a great morality tale when we tell it to our children. You might want to learn a little something from it.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (4, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755532)

I've never understood how we can claim to be such a progressive, forward thinking country while having such a ridiculous number of blue laws (regarding laws that are meant to enforce certain 'moral' standards, not just the Sunday laws) on the books. In all honesty, it's time to get rid of these. Who cares when people sell things, or if people gamble with their own money, or who sleeps with whom (or whoms), or even if people want to parade around naked all day long? Hell, for a country that claims to have a separation of church and state, we sure have a lot of religious laws. (Okay, I kind of care if people want to parade around naked all day long, depending on the person, but that doesn't mean that we should have legislation in place banning something that doesn't have any victims other than our sense of taste!)

Re:Victimless crimes.. (2, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755610)

"Why is it that in 2010 we still try to create even more victimless crimes?"

Online gambling is a haven of criminal activity, many of the games are rigged easily, not to mention the hacking of other peoples computers that happens through the software or website to unsuspecting visitors. I know tonne of people who got ripped off through online casino's who had their computers hacked their email passwords stolen and as well as bank/financial data were cleaned out.

It's not that gambling isn't a "victimless crime" it's that online gambling is just so inherently corrupt.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755724)

I don't care if my neighbor plays poker. I do care if I have to pay money because my neighbor plays poker.

What do you think this is, a free country?

-jcr

Re:Victimless crimes.. (2, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755744)

I don't care if my neighbor plays poker. I do care if I have to pay money because my neighbor plays poker.

How about this:

Your Neighbor: hi, I make/made bad choices and can't afford to feed myself and my children. give me food stamps.
Your Neighbor: hi, I make/made bad choices and can't afford to house myself and my children. give me section 8 housing.
Your Neighbor: hi, I make/made bad choices and can't afford health care for myself and my children. give me universal coverage.
Your Neighbor: hi, I want to play poker with real money.

Me: hi, if I have to pay for your health care, housing and food, you're a child. as a child you don't get to make grown up decisions. you don't get to play poker with real money. just be glad we don't make you come home at six p.m. and make you go to bed at eight p.m. now eat your vegetables.

Re:Victimless crimes.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755910)

So then my not on welfare self should be allowed to gamble?
Should a poor person be allowed to gamble with non-welfare money?

Re:Victimless crimes.. (2, Interesting)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31756116)

so i do not know if online gambling is victimless. but let us assume there is harm. In the state of washington, the state was doing advertising campaigns around the slogan "playing is good"

more generally, if you think the phrase "casino economy" has significant meaning, I expect you do not want the state supporting actual casinos.

Washington lottery structure is for a 50% payout, assuming the tickets were claimed. It is I think tricky to say playing the lottery makes sense for the individual player. and if you use a competent definition of wealth, it does not generate wealth

So Gambling Is OK ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755210)

.. if you do it in the State of Massachusetts as long as your money doesn't leave the State of Massachusetts. Hmmm ... what if the online casino is located in Massachusetts?

Re:So Gambling Is OK ... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755252)

Not sure about Massachusetts, but in a lot of states thankfully you don't have to waste your money paying taxes when dealing with online services.

Of Course MA Wants Monopoly (4, Insightful)

cmholm (69081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755284)

It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that MA, or any state, would want to limit on-line gaming. The only reason any US state has permitted gaming at all is to generate revenue. Being as the states don't have a good mechanism for that on-line, they don't permit it.

One can moan about libertarian ideals and Puritan ethics all one wants. But, all of the players are fully aware of the situation, and have no inhibition against saying so in public, so pointing it out isn't going to make it go away.

WA too (1)

Shandalar (1152907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755950)

Mod parent up. In Washington it is a *felony* to gamble online. Is it because gambling online is a much more serious crime than the misdemeanor of, say, punching a stranger in the face? No, it's because lawmakers want to keep receiving lobby money from the Indian casinos and small poker houses that are the established, profitable businesses already in the state.

And how many rapists will have to go free to fit i (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755314)

And how many rapists will have to go free to fit in people who just play on line poker / sports bets?

any ways this will just give Argentina even more free IP.

Re:And how many rapists will have to go free to fi (0, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755460)

None. You idiot.

Re:And how many rapists will have to go free to fi (2, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755596)

"While the plaintiff's story is compelling and her evidence against her attacker incontrovertible, it has come to the attention of this court that web poker is now illegal. I find the defendant not guilty and motions to appeal are hereby dismissed. This hearing is adjourned, get out of my court, you whiny victim. NOW LET'S TRY THESE GAMBLERS."

Re:And how many rapists will have to go free to fi (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755830)

That only works as a mockery of the sort of bizarre illogic that leads to the argument that rapists would be displaced to jail gamblers.

About time!!! This needs to pass immediately (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755326)

On-line poker is a criminal wasteland run by thugs. There is NO SUCH THING as a fair game of on-line poker for anyone in the U.S.

Full Tilt, Poker Stars, etc.. have all been caught red-handed cheating. They rig both the tournaments and the cash games.

Re:About time!!! This needs to pass immediately (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#31756102)

Citation?

Here too (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755328)

It's not that strange, it's illegal here in Connecticut also. http://www.ct.gov/dosr/cwp/view.asp?Q=291440&A=2031 [ct.gov] It competes with the state lottery, and Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos, diverting money out of the state. I sure that Massachusetts faces a similar situation--I've never been to the Sulfolk Downs but I imagine they have slots?

Re:Here too (WA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755878)

Washington (state, not DC) also has banned online gambling. You want to gamble, you can play the lottery or hit one of the local casinos.

Internet gambling is illegal in Vegas! (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755368)

This is a fairly common ban... even in Las Vegas you have to submit yourself to the whims of the Nevada Gaming Commission, and you can't get an Internet casino approved by them. Most states have lotto laws that makes the state-run game the only legal gambling in their jurisdiction.

It's already proven that a lot of MA residents are traveling to the two CT casinos. I'd rather stay in MA to play poker if only there was a legal game in town.

Re:Internet gambling is illegal in Vegas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755800)

One of the major issues is using online gaming as a tool to launder money. Prepaid credit cards are a major tool in this process and under federal law now you can't use them for gambling on line (disclosure: I worked for a prepaid card company)

There are laws on the books (suspended for review) that would prohibit banks from doing it as well. (additional disclosure: I work in the legal department of one of the largest banks in the US)

Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755394)

You, as a participant in online gambling, have ZERO ability to determine if you are being cheated.

I would go so far as to say it is almost a 100% certainty that you are being cheated, systematically, in a way you can never detect.

And I don't mean by the ordinary odds against you. I mean by the fact that the server you are interacting with has full information and control of every aspect of the game, and can thus modify the play of the game and the odds against you at will.

It is not necessary for them to kill you in every hand. Only to ensure that their shills win at a slightly elevated rate.

You are a complete retard if you let them take you for that ride.

I have no problem at all with banning online gambling worldwide.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755468)

Do you not agree that gambling in general is also completely fucking stupid? Maybe not quite as much, but still, they're both an expected net loss for the majority of gamblers.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755750)

Poker at IRL casino's is generally offered as a service to the players, with the house taking a cut of the total pool; the casino doesn't care who wins, it gets its money anyway. So there's no reason for them to influence the outcome one way or another. With pretty much every other game, though, you're right - the rules are setup in such a way as to favour the house. No cheating needed when you write the rules.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (2, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31756080)

I agree it's mostly stupid. The way most people do it is completely fucking stupid. The way some people do it is addictively self-destructive.

Table games are a losing cause, but the odds are posted and you make your decision with full cognizance of the risks and the way the chances are stacked against your being a winner, much less a big winner. So for people who aren't addicted, it's just stupidly expensive entertainment until you learn your lesson and stop doing that to yourself.

Poker isn't gambling against the house. The cards randomize the action, but they give every player an even chance, leaving the gaming down to a player's ability to present and interpret behaviors, and compute odds in real time. The house gets paid a capped percentage of the pot, which makes it only as expensive as any correctly-played table game.

Putting poker online doesn't alter the odds if the game is constructed properly. But it does create a massive opportunity for the server operator to cheat, massive enough that it is unlikely that any online poker server isn't being used to cheat. The only way to guarantee it's fair is to be the person who creates and operates the server. But that, again, is a massive opportunity for you to cheat, and nobody else can prove you aren't, so it's logical to make it illegal for you to even spread the game that way.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755478)

On the contrary. I agree with you, but I see Online Gambling as a good thing. What better way to rid the world of fools? Or at least, rid the fools of their money.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (2, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755628)

What's better: a world where the money belongs to naive innumate fools, or to exploitative hucksters?

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755638)

Yeah, and being online, I could conceivably be the receiver of said fool's money! Why should we only allow well funded brick and mortar monopolies to do this?

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755748)

What better way to rid the world of fools? Or at least, rid the fools of their money.

If only those two were identical...

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755482)

> You, as a participant in online gambling, have ZERO ability to determine if you are being cheated.
> Only to ensure that their shills win at a slightly elevated rate.

It's not 0, it's just very close.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755492)

In a casino the odds are against you anyway, by definition. The even worse odds at an online casino will only accelerate the inevitable outcome. That is not necessarily bad, e.g. if you were going to stop when you lost all your money, at least you saved some time... Now. if you were not going to stop even after losing all your money... oh well...

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (2, Insightful)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755518)

Don't look at it in the light of "win money", but for its "entertainment value". These people are paying for entertainment.

Though I agree; if you play virtual games to win physical assets, you are an idiot.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (2)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755542)

I have no problem at all with banning online gambling worldwide.

yeah, fuck freedom, who needs that?

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (5, Interesting)

protest_boy (305632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755652)

I would go so far as to say it is almost a 100% certainty that you are being cheated, systematically, in a way you can never detect. It is not necessary for them to kill you in every hand. Only to ensure that their shills win at a slightly elevated rate.

You don't have a very good grasp as to how online poker works. There is no reason whatsoever for an online casino to cheat their customers. In fact, it works against their interest. Money is taken out of each and every pot played. It is NOT in the casino's interest to make their customers go broke faster than normal. If you go broke fast, you may leave forever. If you go broke slowly you will likely reload your account with new funds. Regardless, a hired "shill" will not be able to pull a profit undetected faster than the rake which collects money every single hand on every single table.

You sound like the many many people who try online poker, lose badly, and chose to blame the system rather than a lack of skill.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755832)

Yes, like there's any skill to online poker. You might as well be playing dice.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31756026)

That is an incredibly stupid thing to say. It's obvious you don't know how to play poker - on line or IRL.

Reading your opponents "nervousness" is only a small part of the game. Playing on-line just means everyone has a perfect poker face.
The far more important clues are just as valid on-line as they are in person. How much did he bet? From what position did he play? How long did it take him to think? How often does he bet? How often are the continuation bets? These are all much more important tells then "he looks nervous"...

You can push "all-in" with junk hands and force people off good hands - sure. But if you're playing anyone good, you win maybe a big blind 3-8 times. And as your odds of getting pocket aces are 1 in 215 (or 24 times around a 9 person table), if you push all in long enough, someone will eventually have you beat and call. Donkeys who play like that always go bust if there is anyone moderately good at the table. Sounds like you have had the pleasure...

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755948)

You don't have a very good grasp as to how online poker works. There is no reason whatsoever for an online casino to cheat their customers. In fact, it works against their interest.

Sure there is a reason. To extract more rents from them. It is in their interests as long as they dont get caught. And it has happened: The Absolute Poker Cheating Scandal Blown Wide Open [nytimes.com] .

The GP is correct. You are incredibly stupid to "game" on a site that has no accountability and where you wining/loosing is unverifiable and therefore arbitrary.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755694)

Tell that to Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, etc., who make hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, playing online poker.

Does that make me think I can do it? No, but there are lots of well known poker players making lots of money on online gambling sites.

(There have been cheating scandals, e.g. UltimateBet and AbsolutePoker.)

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755718)

Obviously you don't understand how it works. You don't play poker against the house. You play against other players and the house takes a percentage of every pot, called a 'rake'. Keeping the game fair is in the best interest of the house.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755742)

So what if they cheat? If idiots think they can make money of gambling in the long run, let them be. But know also there are sensible people who just want some responsible fun with online gambling.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755788)

Except it's been done (absolute poker) and was damn obvious.

Any poker site willing to risk the mint they make in rake to a player exodus if they are discovered cheating is worse at math than slots players.

And any cheating the do is going to be a smaller percentage than the rake at a physical casino anyway...

You are far more likely to be cheated by players communicating over IM/phone while playing at the same table against you.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

Henry Pate (523798) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755886)

Online poker sites take a rake just like a normal casino. Why would an online casino jeopardize their entire business by rigging games when they get paid whether you win or lose?

If they ever get caught they lose all their credibility and likely their future profit, just like what happened to UltimateBet and Absolute Poker.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (2, Interesting)

bryanduxbury (1235994) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755896)

Generally, I'd say you are right. You don't have the certainty you're not being cheated.

However, my personal experience is that I substantially netted positive over a year-long online poker career. I don't have any explanation for it, really, but I can't imagine they'd let more than a few players get away with any real amount of money, and I certainly don't think I'm the one that won the lottery of being "allowed" to win to attract other players.

If they do adjust the win rates at an infinitesimal rate to allow their house players to win, then they were doing it both transparently and subtly enough that it was still a profitable venture for me to be online playing a solid game. You could potentially liken it to doing business in a lawless part of the world - some times, you're going to get hijacked, but on the whole it's still making money for you.

Now, for all the guys that *I* took money from, yeah, that was certainly a mistake on their part, but it's not like every player can be a winner, can they?

All Gambling should be regulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755942)

Your argument about why it should not be allowed is really just an argument for regulation.

For instance, why can't one say the same about the rows and rows of machines with handles and buttons in casinos?

Do you think, for an instance, that all of the machines in a casino are not networked together?

Do you think that jackpot events are actually random and not programmed events that happen as a result of various environmental factors being met?

If you think of gambling as voluntary payment of taxes and welfare, then you are on the right track for modern, legal, gambling that is authorised by government.

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755960)

I, too, consider it perfectly okay to ban something on the basis that I think it's stupid.

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (1)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755974)

with one major exception -Horse Racing

because the results are the same if you are watching the race online or if you are there in person. If there is a 'fix' on the race it will affect online and live bettors exactly the same.

Also, in satellite wagering as opposed to casino wagering you are actually part of the live track's betting pool so you get the track odds.

Whereas the Nevada casinos (and probably the other ones) actually cap the payouts for longshots because they were burned pretty badly about 25 years ago or so when some folks with 'inside' information put down some huge longshot bets and broke the bank.

I'm just sayin'

Re:Gambling online is completely fucking stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31756132)

Playing online gambling alone is completely fucking stupid. A couple of friends and a chat window can really help to even out the odds.

Technically unconstitutional. (2, Interesting)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755408)

Assuming that the online poker game is *NOT* based in MA, then under the Commerce Clause (abused though it may be) and the 10th Amendment (ignored though it may be), the power to regulate/ban is reserved to the Feds, and the States may not ban it.

Of course, if the game *IS* based in MA, then no problem.

Re:Technically unconstitutional. (3, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755536)

They don't ban the commerce, they ban the communication.

The feds have already banned interestate and international gambling online.

It was banned over the telephone and telegraph decades ago; in fact, having read that law and knowing how the Internet works, I didn't see a need for any new laws to ban it for internet traffic, but legislators like to show up on C-SPAN.

Massachusetts legislators are no different, so tacking a redundant ban onto a bill legalizing in-state gambling is either a no-op, or adds some twist that the feds didn't consider. Like banning in-state internet gambling as well.

Re:Technically unconstitutional. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755580)

knowing how the Internet works, I didn't see a need for any new laws to ban it for internet traffic

They must be trying to ban RFC1149 based gambling.

Stock Exchange = Gambling yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755434)

Damn, there goes my day trading business.

. . . an Mr. Speaker DeLeo reveals . . . (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755474)

Press: "Mr. Speaker DeLeo! How come only two casinos?"

DeLeo: "I only got two friends."

ClubWPT? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755476)

A spinoff of the World Poker Tour TV show is called ClubWPT where people pay about $20/mo. to subscribe to a poker club that offers frequent games with small prizes. This is legal in most states because the subscription fee is for a Las Vegas-based e-mail newsletter, and the games are considered promotions that don't have an individual cash buy-in. Would this go away in MA under the new law?

Re:ClubWPT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31755806)

Its only perceived to be legal in most states, in reality nobody knows because there hasn't been any cases regarding this business model. The claim is that ClubWPT operates under sweepstakes laws, time will tell if this passes the smell test in individual states.

Given time the claim of legality will be challenged, legal opinions for states will be written, and then ClubWPT, Spade Club, etc will join the ranks of other F*cked Companies.

Massachusetts governent is corrupt (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31755954)

The only thing they care about is lining their pockets with the money they steal and extort from us.

But.... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31756130)

.... why?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...