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The Looming Battle Over Online Gambling

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the wto-is-only-good-when-its-convenient dept.

245

Kadin2048 writes "According to an recent Ars Technica article, the US is headed on a 'collision course' with the WTO over off-shore Internet gambling, if a bill currently in the House of Representatives passes. The 'Internet Gambling Prohibition Act,' (PDF) which updates the 'Wire Act' to prohibit Internet gambling regardless of whether the servers are located in the US or outside of it, is in direct contravention of a WTO ruling. Proponents of the bill claim that it was narrowly defeated in previous incarnations due to the influence of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. However it seems as though some of Abramoff's biggest clients -- brick and mortar casinos -- are really the big winners from passage of this bill, since it does not prohibit gambling in person, only online."

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I wouldn't... (5, Funny)

Galston (895804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745422)

I wouldn't bet on this ending nicely at all.

Re:I wouldn't... (4, Funny)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745752)

Come on, I'll give you 3 to 1 odds.

What? (2, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745427)

The 'Internet Gambling Prohibition Act,' (PDF) which updates the 'Wire Act' to prohibit Internet gambling regardless of whether the servers are located in the US or outside of it, is in direct contravention of a WTO ruling.

I think this act violating some funny acronym takes a backseat to the idea of every nation's own soverignity.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745485)

Except that the US agreed to be part of the WTO...

What a coincidence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745529)

I think this act attempting to regulate morality takes a back seat to my own sovereignty.

Re:What a coincidence. (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745791)

It is not about regulating morality. It's about money. No U.S. government agency can track you income to tax you on big winnings and the casinos are not paying taxes either. So by making it illegal, you have to waste your money on other things that they can tax you on.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

jfruhlinger (470035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745636)

Yeah, except that our elected govt. signed the treaty and now has to play by the rules we agreed to. We could always pull out ... the WTO can't make us play by their rules, but they can kick us out of the club if we don't.

Which would be bad, since we benefit from being in the WTO in about a kajillion ways, mostly involving telling other countries how to run their economies. Or does your idea of "national sovreignty" only apply to the US?

jf

They won't be able to ban online gambling (1, Funny)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745436)

The government won't be able to ban online gambling; and I have $10 that says so! Any takers?

Re:They won't be able to ban online gambling (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745503)

Can I send you the money through my part poker account?

Gimme a break! (5, Insightful)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745446)

This is sponsored by US casinos that are losing business to online ones. Instead of pushing through bs legislation, they should have to compete by making their own casinos online. Yet another example of "bought" legislation that serves only the good of corporations.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

You'd think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745480)

You'd think that considering how many members of congress are currently in hot water for skewing the law to favor the casinos represented by Mr. Abramoff, they'd hesitate just a little before giving another big legal handout to casinos.

Guess not.

Re:Gimme a break! (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745526)

Instead of pushing through bs legislation, they should have to compete by making their own casinos online.
Apparently, though, they can't because they're located in the US and it's already illegal for them to do it (that's what that "Wire Act" thing is). This new bill is about making it illegal to gamble at online casinos located outside the US, which only levels the playing field.

I think the best solution, though, is just to repeal the laws against gambling here, along with all the other laws that try to protect people against themselves. If they want to do something stupid, I say we let them!

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

Mr. Competence (18431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745565)

I agree -- as soon as we get rid of Welfare so I don't have to support all of the idiots who lose all of their money.

Re:Gimme a break! (1, Troll)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745619)

Yeah, that too. In fact, if you look at it a certain way it is one of those "laws that protect people against themselves" because it removes responsibility for their actions. In other words, people can knowingly be stupid and/or self-destructive and rely on the "safety net" of Welfare to save them. If we removed the safety net, people would have to learn to take care of themselves.

Re:Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745732)

If we removed the safety net, people would have to learn to take care of themselves.

No, you'd just end up with a bunch of poor, starving and dead people.

Oh, and more criminals. Stealing from you.

Re:Gimme a break! (2, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745748)

That won't end well.

Go to Wikipedia and look up "French Revolution" to see some prior art for your idea.

Re:Gimme a break! (2, Interesting)

Traa (158207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745790)

If you remove the safety net, some people will indeed learn and take care of themselves. However a LOT of people will not take care of themselves and hurt themselves, their family and perhaps you (through crime/desease/poverty you name it). That is the nature of people.

Now if you still think that this suits you fine, then "Welcome to America" ;-)

Personally I am inclined to say that certain safety nets that protect people against themselves or each other builds a healthy society.

Re:Gimme a break! (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745829)

well, as a tech employee who was out of work for 9 months, I thank god we had welfare, otherwise we would have lost everything.
Just for your info, whiole out of work, I spent 30 hours a week minimum doing something that directly involved finding another job.

Contrary to the republican mantra, a very small minority of welfare reciepents abuse thr system. Point in fact, most people on some sort of assistance work full time jobs.

Re:Gimme a break! (4, Insightful)

zulux (112259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745587)

If they want to do something stupid, I say we let them!

I agree! But unfortunatly, the same people that would gamble their future away are the same types of people that won't accept responsibility for their own actions.

I'd be all for legalizing gambeling, drugs and protitution --- if the people who engaged in such behaviour diden't keep asking for goverment handouts.

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745703)

the same people that would gamble their future away are the same types of people that won't accept responsibility for their own actions.

Can you cite the scientific literature that substantiates this claim, please?

Re:Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745830)

Why didn't you ask for his personal experience? You look it up. Lazybone!

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745958)

I'd be all for legalizing gambeling, drugs and protitution --- if the people who engaged in such behaviour diden't keep asking for goverment handouts.

This is precisely why not allowing internet gambling inside the US is stupid. The money leaves the country immediately. It's not even possible to tax the shit out of it to pay for any public welfare necessity caused by gambling.

On the other hand, legalizing some drugs (it's already the war on some drugs regardless) would cut down the costs of the legal system dramatically without significantly increasing the cost of the welfare system - mostly marijuana. It's a lot less harmful both to the individual and society than alcohol, but that is legal. Granted, that's because they tried to make it illegal before, and the people wouldn't stand for it...

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745853)

even if that stupid act harms someone not immediatly involved?

Re:Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745913)

"I think the best solution, though, is just to repeal the laws against gambling here, along with all the other laws that try to protect people against themselves. If they want to do something stupid, I say we let them!"

you say that now, but wait until the 95% of the populace that are total morons start doing whatever they want, then you will be paying for it with social recovery programs such as welfare, etc...either that or those losers will rob you to pay for their habit..it is a necessary evil to have such laws. Most people on this planet are like those tards in New Orleans..they just sit there and cry 'why me?' instead of trying to help themselves. the laws help, even if sometimes they seem retarded.

it aint perfect, but it's be a damn sight worse without those 'protect people against themselves' laws. this aint Starfleet or the Federation.

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745930)

man, if the representitves can be bought as easily as the original poster states, why can't they change the law to allow online gambling in the US? They would make more money.

Re:Gimme a break! (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745540)

"Instead of pushing through bs legislation, they should have to compete by making their own casinos online."

I agree....if they could/would bring their casinos online, especially the major ones in Vegas and Atlantic City...they could really pull in US gamblers I'd think.

Since they are overseen quite well by their city's gaming boards, people could feel more comfortable that they were 'honest' games online.

I'd certainly feel more comfortable playing online Texas Hold'em with say, Harrah's online, than some place offshore....if I were so inclined to do something like that.

Re:Gimme a break! (2, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745622)

Actually, one of my major reasons for NOT gambling online is the offshore nature of the servers.

If it were some American casino online, I might do it. Just because if they get hacked/defraud me there would be at least SOME recourse.

Whereas I will never ever go to Vegas to gamble in person because well... that would be admitting I want to. I would spend $5 here and there online, but don't want to go to Vegas for it.

So they'd win if they could do online versions legally in the US.

Of course, that stupid puritan ideal cropping it's ugly head up puts a stop to that....

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745854)

Offtopic: History lied about the puritans, they didnt leave because they wanted to, they were asked to... "Why dont alll you whiny little puritans go get on a rickety dinky boat and get the F*CK off the island"

Re:Gimme a break! (2, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745644)

Give me a break, this legislation is stupid, but come on, do you honestly beleive a Casino is losing out to the online version... right. and apparently you have never been to vegas. The casino experience isnt about gambling.

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

Dan-DAFC (545776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745936)

The recent explosion in the popularity of poker is down to the Internet. Those people who have got into the game playing from the comfort and safety of their own home for a couple of dollars are increasingly trying out the "real thing", which can only be good for the real casinos. It's interesting to see the US choosing to go down this route when other Western countries such as the UK are doing the opposite and opening up to accommodate these operators. Online gambling is becoming increasingly legitimate in the rest of the world, and there is a lot of money to be made from it.

Re:Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745718)

Yet another example of "bought" legislation

What other kind is there?

History has demonstrated the golden rule: he who has the gold, rules.

This is nothing new. I don't know why people who think that all legislation is "bought" legislation are considered cynics...they are just calling a spade a spade.

It's the people who believe that legislation should be drafted which benefits the impoverished majority, simply out of the goodness of a politician's heart, that are living in an idealized fantasy-world.

Money makes the world go round, in politics, in business, in war, and in love. That's just the way humans are.

Re:Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745784)

Gimme a break! != This is sponsored by US casinos...

Re:Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745787)

It's illegal for them to have online casinos...they DESPERATELY want a regulated environment where they have online casinos that are trustworthy and branded under their own trusted names. In fact they'd be more than happy to compete and leave the less reputable sites alone as it is expected to drive business toward the big vegas branded sites.

RE (4, Interesting)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745458)

Call me cynical.... But I think that the Bricks and mortar casinos give enough money to politicos that there is not a snowballs chance in hell that online gambling will be legal.
Also, Online, offshore gambling is tough to tax. If the government can't tax it, they will outlaw it...

Re:RE (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745502)

Okay Mr. Cynical, what you don't seem to comprehend is that while yes, the United States can blow off the WTO, there will eventually be consequences.

The WTO will probably pick out an important U.S. export industry and apply some trade sanctions to it.

It works.

The United States has backed down to the WTo before and they'll do it again. So, while "the wto-is-only-good-when-its-convenient", they also have means to enforce their will.

Re:RE (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745716)

If the government can't tax it, they will outlaw it...

If they can't collect the tax, how is outlawing it going to have any impact?

Re:RE (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745792)

You don't think the big US casinos would make money off online gambling? Hell, at least they could market that there machines comply with the gaming board regulations. Which is a hell of a lot safer then some offshore casino.

Serious Question (0, Offtopic)

seann (307009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745471)

good crowd and place to ask for the best banks/countries for setting up off shore gambling?

Online Gambling (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745472)


I wouldn't make a bet on it either way.

I have no idea where these people are or whether they're treating any of my information with due discretion. When russian teens blast their sites with DoS attacks they're all over it, but how secure are they of names and CC's?

Sorry, I'll stick to nickels in slots when I have to go to Vega$.

Re:Online Gambling (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745808)

Sorry, I'll stick to nickels in slots when I have to go to Vega$.

Take your Kaypro and handset modem along...slots use cards now. There are a few coin-op machines left, but you'll have to hurry.

rj

Re:Online Gambling (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745818)

Most of the slot machines in Vegas have moved to paper currency or printed tickets only, no coins. Payout is done by printing a bar code on a ticket, which can then be played in another machine, or paid out by inserting it into a "cash out" machine.

Kinda sucks to walk through a slots floor and have no more clink-clink. Everything's just video game type noises.

Re:Online Gambling (1)

airship (242862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745843)

I prefer to go a few miles up the road to the local Native American casino. I figure it's the least I can do since my ancestors killed off most of their ancestors.

Schitzoid nation (1)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745475)

So, on the one hand, gambling (online) is wrong. On the other, since the politicians are being funded -oops, I mean the bill is being funded- by brick-n-mortar gambling interests inside the U.S., gambling is okay (in person). And this is how law is made...

Re:Schitzoid nation (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745571)

brick-n-mortar gambling interests inside the U.S., gambling is okay (in person)
But it's not okay in person, except in a few states, as well as Native American reservations (which have special legal status) and casino ships (which go to international waters). In other words, they want to stop online gambling because they want to stop gambling entirely, and it's the one loophole in existing law.

Re:Schitzoid nation (2, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745617)

Most casino ships are riverboats. They aren't going in international waters. Hell, very few of them even go in interstate waters. A few of them went in the Mississippi to avoid state laws, and then other states picked it up as a convenient excuse for partial legalization.

Re:Schitzoid nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745783)

It's also a-okay if it's state run (e.g. Megamillions, Lotto, Pick-4, Daily Lottery, etc, etc).

Consolidate it all (4, Interesting)

ThisIsForReal (897233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745476)

Consolidate the whole world into the Extended USA. Then legalize everything: gambling, drugs, prostitutes, ripping CD's into MP3's (just kidding, that should always be illegal). Then tax the hell out of the whole thing, and reduce us all to serfs working and toiling for "the man", which is now a single ruling body over everything.

Everybody will work towards Friday under oppression, then celebrate the weekend by gambling, doing drugs and girls, and then listening to illgotten music (just kidding about that one). Problems solved.

Ahh, gambling. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

Re:Consolidate it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745597)

Shoot, if this new world order will get me laid, then I'm all for it!

Is this the SAME Congress (5, Interesting)

bherman (531936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745481)

That was telling google et al to locate their servers offshore [com.com] to avoid China asking for information from them or asking them to filter content in their search engines......which is it????
I hate this Congress.....they claim that it would be ok for us to do to another country, but not to our own. I guess their mothers never taught them the golden rule. "Treat others as you want to be treated"

Screw them.

Re:Is this the SAME Congress (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745677)

I guess their mothers never taught them the golden rule. "Treat others as you want to be treated".

Screw them.

I think their mothers taught them that. That is why they are hell bent on screwing us

Re:Is this the SAME Congress (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745690)

On the other hand, their political advisers have also taught them the Golden Rule: "Who has the gold, makes the rules."

You see, you are using ethical and moral arguments - which already puts two strikes against you in politics. Add "a desire for intelligent debate," and you can't get yourself elected dogcatcher!

Change is coming in Ontario as well (3, Informative)

Tom Courtenay (638139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745483)

Or at least, a bill has been tabled.

http://www.ontla.on.ca/documents/Bills/38_Parliame nt/session2/b060_e.htm [ontla.on.ca]

Re:Change is coming in Ontario as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745700)

"Tabled" has a specific meaning in parlimentary procedure, it means that the item in question is no longer under active consideration and no vote can be taken.

solution. (3, Insightful)

blue_adept (40915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745488)

prohibit Internet gambling regardless of whether the servers are located in the US or outside of it

Obviously this only applies to corporations and businesses incorporated in the US. Solution? Online gambling companies will simply incorporate on whatever island their servers are hosted, and shut down their US branches.

You don't have to be a US company to take US money.

Re:solution. (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745560)

"You don't have to be a US company to take US money"

Yet

Re:solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745657)

Actually it tries to prohibit offshore gambling enterprises from taking credit cards or checks from US banks, which is how most people fund their online gambling.... so it not only makes it illegal, but chokes off the supply of money as well.

I haven't read the bill itself, just TFA, but i think that there are probably penalties involved for banks that transfer money to offshore gambling companies.

I'm not sure how this affects something like paypal or eGold though -- would they stop Americans from transferring money to ANY type of paypal-like service, located in a neutral 3rd country, if that service allowed them to then transfer the money to an online gambling outfit? That would seem pretty far-reaching.

I guess we'll have to turn to those traditional enablers of gambling, organized crime. they'll figure it out soon enough. don't worry.

Re:solution. (1)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745663)

You don't have to be a US company to take US money.

Yes and no. IIRC, gambling debts are not enforceable across state lines - so someone can simply walk away from a credit card transaction (may not be that simple).

Contrary to what the article says, a complete ban on online gambling would not violate the WTO agreements, any more than France's prohibition of Nazi merchandise be a violation of WTO regs.

Re:solution. (1)

iphayd (170761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745903)

The fun with this is that it already illegal to have for-money online gambling in the USA. However, the companies get around it by advertising for donkeypornpoker.net (a not for money site), knowing full well that most people will go to donkeypornpoker.com, which is a "sepearate" offshore company that is a true gambling site.

30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (4, Insightful)

acaben (80896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745493)

That's the real kicker in this proposed bill. They want to spend $30 Million over the next 3 years to fight gambling. Great, add that to the DOJ's war on porn, and perhaps sometime in the next 20 or 30 years we can go back to looking for Osama Bin Laden. Once all that porn and gambling is stopped. Priorities, people, prioties.

And, even though I'm disgusted by the money they want to spend on this, I'm more disgusted that the "personal responsibility" party (repubs) and "keep your government out of my bedroom" party (dems) both think that gambling is something they have the right to regulate. Do some (dumb) people become addicted to gambling and spend their life savings? Yes, and they deserve to lose that money. Just because there are a few people unable to think logically about their actions doesn't mean we should prevent the tens of millions of people who enjoy the thrill of a weekend in Vegas or Party Poker from doing so responsibly.

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745538)

Sadly the "keep your government out of my bedroom" party belives that any federal regulation is good regulation unless it affects a sexual act and especially if it hinders a company or corperation that they don't like. While the "personal responsibility" party has slowly become the "personal responsibility (unless your committing moral sin)" party.

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (1)

glib909 (623480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745545)

That's the real kicker in this proposed bill. They want to spend $30 Million over the next 3 years to fight gambling. Great, add that to the DOJ's war on porn, and perhaps sometime in the next 20 or 30 years we can go back to looking for Osama Bin Laden. Once all that porn and gambling is stopped. Priorities, people, prioties.

That conjures the image of a platoon of scientests at the NSA watching a huge wall-sized mainframe spit out a reciept-sized printout reading:

REASONS FOR NOT CATCHING OSAMA: DOMESTIC PORN AND GAMBLING.

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745548)

Great, 30 million on this shit. Here's a far better idea- legalize online gambling. Tax it. Regulate it so that we can be sure the RNG is fair. Force casinos to put a small percent of profits twoards rehabilitation for those who truely have problems, and let those of us who can control their gambling have fun playing a game of poker now and then.

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745575)

"personal responsibility" party (repubs)

You mean the financial whores party?

Really, you guys need to do something about your congressmen openly selling their vote to the highest bidder. It's getting really out of hand. ...not a stab at Americans, but it's definitely a breakdown in democracy when votes can be purchased by a lobby group.

You guys need to put politicians in jail who accept bribes. Yes bribes. That's what vote buying is - a bribe.

Not that my country (Canada) is much better...

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745770)

just pointing out that the ramifications of gambling go far beyond the gambler.

OTOH, I have always wanted to st up an online casino in the bahamas that cheats. Would be trivial, really.

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (2, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745797)

I'm amazed the federal government would want to "fight gambling". If they succeeded, what would all the states do that rely on lottery income???

This is beyond stupid, it's blatant pandering to a lobby at the expense of, oh, just about everyone else. Far better would be to legalize, legitimize, and tax online gambling and turn the US into a provider of those services instead of a consumer. In the increasingly global marketplace, an international online casino operated out of the US would, in economic terms, be considered an export industry. Instead of writing a law that completely violates WTO guidelines, why not take advantage of the new world order and actually strike a blow to help restore a balance of trade.

To put it another way: we all know the real winner in the gambling industry is the casino. We also know that Internet gambling is a huge and booming industry. Does the US want to be on the winning side of that development, or not?

Re:30 MILLION dollars to fight gambling? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745867)

Do some (dumb) people become addicted to gambling and spend their life savings? Yes, and they deserve to lose that money.

Perfectly sensible concept...except we have a non-negotiable constraint that if you go broke, I have to feed and house you.

rj

Typical of Amerikastan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745513)

The United Soviet republic of Amerikastan are a law unto themselves anyways.

Bets 'n Boobs (1)

gvc (167165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745521)

Why do Americans get so worked up about things that nobody else in the world cares about - like betting and bare breasts?

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (1)

kadathseeker (937789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745551)

We got it from you guys originally, remember. All the people you didn't like came here.

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (4, Funny)

RembrandtX (240864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745573)

I beg to differ. All across the world people get 'worked up' over boobs.

Its just that in the U.S. thats what people object to :P

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745691)

errr, most of the world is more concernened with Bets and Boobs more then the US.
China and the mideast, for instance.

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (1)

Intangion (816356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745708)

my favorite is how they cut out 'dirty words' and 'nudity' on movies, but they leave in people getting killed

so killing is ok, as long as you dont cuss at anyone (with certain extra naughty words), and as long as no one is naked

oh also no gambling ;)

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (1)

mjbkinx (800231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745965)

errr, most of the world is more concernened with Bets and Boobs more then the US. China and the mideast, for instance.

Yeah, but China doesn't call itself "The Land of the Free (TM)" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (1)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745734)

not Americans, just the religious fanatics

Re:Bets 'n Boobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745826)

Because being ofended by cartoons about religious symbols has long been passé?

Not like killing people over a cartoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745939)

Like a cartoon about running out of virgins in a paradise created by a god who chose a dude with a 9 year old second wife for his prophet. Allah's Pediphile Prophet [usc.edu]

I don't gamble online but... (1)

kadathseeker (937789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745522)

This is just more stupid, unnecessary legislation for the sake of controlling people. Let the free market do its thing and kill physical casinos.

Why not put some of this legislative effort into, oh, say, patent reform?

Anyone want to make Oceans 13? (1)

TriZz (941893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745523)

- it'll involve Lobbyist, Russians, the Bellagio, George Clooney, that cool guy with the accent and dynamite, and some crazy animal sex between myself and Catherine Zeta Jones. ...my poor roommate who treats online gambling as a "second job". I wonder if he can get food stamps for this?

They will never learn. (3, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745528)

Personally, I think gambling is a waste of time - but that should always be the choice of the person doing the gambling. Sure, it can ruin lives and mess up families - but dammit, that's THEIR problem! I should be free to spend $2.00 online gambling every now and then if I were into that sort of thing. The more the government attempts to baby the public the weaker we become. Our society is going through a massive pussification and I just can't see it ending well.

Re:They will never learn. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745639)

Please look at the other factors that surround gambling, both online and offline.
I am not trying to sway your opinion, only pointing out that the remifications of gambling go far beyond the gamblers themselves.

Re:They will never learn. (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745719)

My opinion is pretty much uninformed. :-) What are some of the other ramifications to consider?

Re:They will never learn. (1)

RealBothersome (838593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745670)

Gambling should be looked at through the same glasses as you see drug users. Plain and simple. It is an addiction to a high that occurs during the win. Personally, I wonder how this will affect the MMORPG called Project Entropia. This "game" or "virtual universe" isn't marketed as an online casino. Yet that is exactly what it turned out to be. Many people are pulled in to the online gaming aspect of it. But turn out to be trapped trying to get their money back after they discover, they're in a gambling environment. I'd personally like to see some regulation thrown their way. If anyone needs it, they do.

Re:They will never learn. (3, Interesting)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745880)

Sure, it can ruin lives and mess up families - but dammit, that's THEIR problem!

On April 15, it's YOUR problem.

rj

Well (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745531)

They can pry my online gambling from my cold, dead hands.

Or until I loose all my money.

Poker Players Over Here To Unite (5, Informative)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745535)

Time to join the Poker Player Alliance [pokerplayersalliance.org] , which has been specifically formed to fight legislation like this. Besides, they've got a pretty neat T-shirt.

Just call it futures trading... (2, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745590)

...and there you go, instant legal online gambling.

Re:Just call it futures trading... (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745895)

The gamblers we call businessmen look with great disapproval on the businessmen we call gamblers.

--Ambrose Bierce

rj

States Rights (1)

swalker42 (944794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745628)

The issue (aside from bought politians) is that each state has the right to approve or disapprove of gambling within their own borders. I agree that gambling online, or any other online activity, cannot be controlled - this issue just shows the problem with agreeing to WTO policies. How can an international law be adopted for an entire country when, at least in the US, the individual states have (or are supposed to have) autonomy??

B&M Doesn't Benefit (1)

tansey (238786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745683)

"However it seems as though some of Abramoff's biggest clients -- brick and mortar casinos -- are really the big winners from passage of this bill, since it does not prohibit gambling in person, only online."

You may not realize it, but B&M casinos are some of the largest proponents for online gambling. Harrah's, among others, has already setup their own online casino which does not allow American players (in order to comply with current legislation). B&M casinos have the experience, they have the trusted name(s) in the gambling industry, and they want in on the action.

the government shouldn't ban gambling (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745686)

the government should take over gambling

just like they took over the numbers racket and created the interstate lottery system

ironically, lottery money is used for educational purposes (or it is supposed to at least)

look, we all know gambling is an idiot tax. so the government should stop being a moralist and just be prudent about something they are doing anyways: collecting taxes. absorbing a lucrative idiot tax should be a no-brainer

perhaps gambling money could fund NASA or something. the stupidest of mental exercises being used to fund the highest of mental exercises

Regulation, not prohibition. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745699)

I think it's going to be near impossible to control online gambling. We can't even control the drug trade, and these guys think they can stop online gambling? I think there's problems with gambling. People get addicted, they lose all their money, and other people suffer because of it. What happens when your wife gambles away your entire savings? Are you an idiot because you trusted her with access to the bank account?

That makes it societies resposibility to try to prevent that harm. To do this we need legalized, regulated online gambling. You're not going to stop it, so the only way to control it is to legalize it and regulate it. Right now who's to say that the games are fair? No one, since it's a big free-for-all. But if it were legalized within the US, my guess is people are going to go to the trusted casinos because they're regulated and have to abide by certain rules, just like in Las Vegas.

I'd just like to take this moment (1)

MWelchUK (585458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745706)

to welcome the WTO onto the axis of evil.

Welcome.

Ever wonder (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745712)

If the government is even capable of just saying "Fuck it, its not worth the fight" Honestly, what is the big deal about online gambling? I might try poker or something but if i want to gamble for real I will go to a casino...if i want to spend some money on useless entertainment like this, why should I be able to. Let the fools go bankrupt that is their weakness.

Over-protection (4, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745713)

Protect me from murder.

Protect me from rape, from robbery, from bodily assault.

Protect me from corporations swindling me.

Protect me from bodily damage from others.

But, please, stop protecting me from myself. I can protect me from myself just fine without the government jumping in with a few choice words.

If you're so concerned about those too incompetent to protect themselves from themselves, find a way to either educate them or allow them to continue down their self-destructive path without taking out others along the way.

It's good that you care for those types. (Someone has to.) However, restricting me because a small minority can't restrict themselves is not right.

And if you're doing this because of some moral high ground, go jump off a bridge.

Re:Over-protection (2, Insightful)

pyro101 (564166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745774)

The problem is that when people go and lose their life's savings/house due to an addiction we have a choice of either letting them die in gutter in a puddle of their own urin or supporting them by some means whether it be private or state funded either way it hurts society. In our free nation we allow most obnoxious and destructive behavior until it begins to cost society instead of just the stupid individual. ie you can buy a large chunck of land build a bridge and jump off it but you can't go to a public on and jump off. Or if you would rather jump off somebody else's bridge they are held liable for your injuries.

Only WTO problem if only blocking *foreign* sites (2, Interesting)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745717)

The WTO does not claim to impose or dismiss national controls over its populace--it only seeks to maintain a level playing field between countries--that you cannot place burdens on foreign competitors in order to protect the companies in your own country from foreign competition.

The bill banning US citizens from using *all* net gambling sites does not violate WTO rules, as it treats all countries' sites equally.

Browsing Slashdot while playing Texas Holdem (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745776)

I just found it amusing that I go to check Slashdot and there is a story about online gambling.

Money money money. (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745809)

However it seems as though some of Abramoff's biggest clients -- brick and mortar casinos -- are really the big winners from passage of this bill, since it does not prohibit gambling in person, only online."

As always, follow the money. I have been invloved in the casino business for many years. Believe me, never mind the casinos, its all about uncle sam getting his cut. Nothing more nothing less.

Won't somebody please think of the children? (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745827)

So what exactly does this law suggest in the way of enforcement? Does it mandate ISPs place filters on their routers and block IP addresses associated with offshore gambling sites? Does it enable the President to go to war against countries who provide sanctuary for the gambling site's servers? Other than benefitting the gambling interests in the US, how does this law benefit US citizens?

Laws can't eliminate or even reduce spam from offshore sites. What makes anybody think new laws to stop gambling?

Magic Online (1)

JackDW (904211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745973)

Will this affect Magic Online, the casino that pays out cards instead of cash?
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