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WA Law Means Linking to Gambling Websites Illegal

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the don't-click-the-bad-links dept.

300

tpoker writes "Following a previous story on Washington State making online gambling a felony, the Seattle Times reports that the first legal salvos have begun. 'The first casualty in the state's war on Internet gambling is a local Web site where nobody was actually doing any gambling. What a Bellingham man did on his site was write about online gambling. He reviewed Internet casinos. He had links to them, and ran ads by them. All that, says the state -- the ads, the linking, even the discussing -- violates a new state law barring online wagering or using the Internet to transmit 'gambling information ... Telling people how to gamble online, where to do it, giving a link to it -- that's all obviously enabling something that is illegal.'"

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Plus Side? (3, Interesting)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551161)

Maybe this will provide some legal leverage to go after people who spam blogs and forums with adds for online poker, etc?

Re:Plus Side? (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551220)

Maybe this will provide some legal leverage to go after people who spam blogs and forums with adds for online poker, etc?

Don't count on it. WA state laws have no effect on blogs and/or bloggers located in other states, much less the activities of casinos located outside the USA. How could a state law (not even a federal one) have any impact on a casino operator operating in the Dominican Republic?

Re:Plus Side? (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551336)

I'm not American, so I'm really not familiar with how state and federal laws work. In this case, would it be similar to a person committing a crime in Washington though?

Also, don't get me wrong. As far as I can tell, this law is totally ridiculous and my post was pretty much the only good thing that I could imagine will come of it.

Re:Plus Side? (2, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551391)

Don't count on it. WA state laws have no effect on blogs and/or bloggers located in other states

Don't count on that. Each state, via Article IV (section 2) of that fantastic federal constitution of ours provides for extradition between states, it is still not clear how juristidictional issues resolve (is the location of the crime client side? Server side? Both? Is there an interstate element (and hence under federal jurisdiction)?) What happens when a bank robber flees to the Dominican Republic? Do we throw up our hands and say 'well, he's just too damn wily for us!'?

Re:Plus Side? (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551464)

What happens when a bank robber flees to the Dominican Republic?

You try to extradite and/or kidnap him so that he can be tried in the US (you don't think a little thing like national sovereignty is going to stop Uncle Sam, do you?).

Do we throw up our hands and say 'well, he's just too damn wily for us!'?

No, because no rocket-powered vehicles or anvils are involved.

Re:Plus Side? (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551488)

What happens when a bank robber flees to the Dominican Republic? Do we throw up our hands and say 'well, he's just too damn wily for us!'?

No, but in that case it's up to federal law enforcement to deal with it. As soon as they cross outside of the state of WA it becomes a federal offense. Once they cross the US border it becomes an issue for both US and foriegn federal law enforcement officials. It's the federal government that has extradition laws, not each state. Since there's no corresponding federal law on the books there's nothing WA police can do to casino operators in the Dominican Republic. And considering online gambling is apparently legal in the Dominican Republic I also doubt the any extradition treaties we have with them would be valid. Extradition treaties deal with issues that are illegal in both countries (murder, bank robbery, etc), not social issues that may be legal in one country and illegal in the other.

Re:Plus Side? (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551545)

Sometimes. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Plus Side? (2, Informative)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551560)

Per the obscenity lawsuits, the crime happens whereever they decide they can get the most favorable verdict.
IE., a prosecuter in WA can decide that the Nevada site www.poker-n-prostitutes.com [not real (I hope)] violates the WA statute & initiate an extradition request for the owner of the site.
Personnally I think this is a waste of time since it's going to be hammered on the 1st ammendment level. But that's government for you, if they have the choice to do something or to create a worthless law to waste everyones time & interfier with our lives ... they don't have to think long before starting to start protecting us from ourselves.
Check out CNN [cnn.com] .... guy was just charged with aiding his wife to commit suicide by
...
wait for it
getting out of the minivan at a reststop.
Yep, I am thinking bikini atol is starting to sound nicer every week. What's a little cancer compaired to this kind of crap.

Re:Plus Side? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551239)

Actually I think it will lead to the banning of commment sections in blogs, otherwise you can be arrested for hosting "information on online gambling" in the comments section of your website.

Re:Plus Side? (2)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551368)

Interesting point, but that would be pretty much like killing a bug with a jackhammer. When you're wiping out large swaths of the Internet just to get at a small group of people, that's a pretty good indication that you're fighting a loosing battle. I wouldn't necessarily put it past some idiot lawmaker to try that, but I can't see it standing for too long.

Unconstitutionality approaching. (4, Insightful)

sglider (648795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551162)

I give it a year before it's struck down as unconstitutional.

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551177)

I give it two. Our legal process isn't that fast. Remember, the latest ammendment to the constitution was proposed at the same time as the second.

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551460)

I say betwee n 3 and 4 ... wanna bet?

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551187)

What do you mean? If we allow online gambling, the terrorists have won! Won't you Think Of The Children(tm)?

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551206)

I agree. I think they will be able to retain the part about online gambling itself being illegal, but they're going to lose the parts of the law that make 'gambling information' illegal. That is clearly a first amemdment issue right there.

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551366)

HairyCanary wrote:
they're going to lose the parts of the law that make 'gambling information' illegal. That is clearly a first amemdment issue right there.

Oh, just give it time. The Supreme Court gutted the Fourth amendment yesterday. They can't strike all our Constitutional rights down at once. :-)

Dear Slashdot Poster (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551249)


You are kidding. You have no rights.

This is The United Gulags of America [whitehouse.org] .

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (2, Interesting)

dubmun (891874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551330)

Conservatives are very ardent about this subject and have controlling interest in our three branches of government right now. I don't see this being overturned so soon, if ever.

States that currently allow gambling in all it's forms (read: Nevada) will allow online gambling but I believe other states will start to follow Washington's example over the next year.

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551426)

Yeah right - by the same Supreme Court that says the cops can kick your door down without even announcing themselves?

Re:Unconstitutionality approaching. (1)

Vaginal Discharge (706367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551587)

Seriously, there has to be at least one professional poker player living in Washington state. Outlawing internet poker would be like outlawing their livelihood. But since there are casinos in Washington state, then obviously being a professional poker player is not illegal. So... it's okay to be a professional poker player, but you cannot practice your vocation. I think there's every reason this law can be overturned in the courts.

Bets? (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551164)

Ten bucks says they find a way to lead Google away in handcuffs.

Re:Bets? (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551198)

You beat me to it by about ten seconds! But yeah, there's no WAY this can be legal... even talking about gambling is illegal now? Does this make Puzzle Pirates (and other games that allow multiplayer wagering) illegal even though no legal tender trades hands?

Re:Bets? (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551316)

The next step:

Writing a novel where one of the characters is involved in online gambling is illegal.
Oh, and since bank robbery is illegal, writing stories (online or in print) about bank robbers and the (fictional) details about how they did it will be illegal.

The next step?
Stating that you believe/disbelieve in god will be illegal because it "could" offend someone and lead to illegal acts such as assault, arson, etc.
Stating that "Government (foo) sucks" "President (foo) sucks" will be illegal because it could incite some wacko to assassinate someone.

Think it's a stretch? Well, outlawing discussion of an illegal activity is actually a violation of your first amendment rights so by banning the discussion of gambling, where really does it end? The precedent of limiting speech is very clear, since the discussion has been squelched and ruled illegal because it "could" lead to the DoublePlusUnGood activity, then surely discussing other illegal activities, whether hypothetical, real, or fictional (I make the distinction between hypothetical and fictional here since one is simply an academic discussion and the other is entertainment) would be ruled illegal as well. Where does it end?

This law ought to be turned over by the Federal courts as unconstitutional right away. I hope he fights it to the end.

Re:Bets? (0, Flamebait)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551217)

So you're implying that the beast of Redmond may be a supporter of this bill?
This could be yet another legal tie to drain the resources of a competitor.

Wouldn't the local routers be at fault though for supplying gambling links via Google?
Wouldn't the end user be at fault for submitting a gambling query that should lock up that user in prison because he is, afterall, a threat to MY safety because he gambles. :-)

Re:Bets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551373)

So you're implying that the beast of Redmond may be a supporter of this bill?

This could be yet another legal tie to drain the resources of a competitor.

No, dumbass, he's just making a joke. And you forgot to include a "Hahaa, I bet teh Steve Ballmer through another chair!!!"

Re:Bets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551445)

Christ, you are an idiot.

Re:Bets? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551232)

Do you guys here have any idea about how the law works at all?

It's all about intent. Does Google intend to encourage people to gamble online? Is that the purpose of the site? It seems to me that the purpose of Google is simply to find information about whatever the person is looking for. Yes, if they're looking for online gampblinbg, then it will do that, but that's a side effect of a primarily legitimate service.

Now, this guy is probably protected by that constitution thingy you guys have got, so he should be okay, but his site is completely different from Google. It's sole purpose is to discuss internet gambling. By all accounts, it exists to promote internet gambling. As such, it is completely different from Google.

Re:Bets? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551326)

By all accounts, it exists to promote internet gambling. As such, it is completely different from Google.

well, what about google ads regarding gambling? if one was so inclined, you could put those under the same qualification.

Re:Bets? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551371)

They most probably could... Especially so if they were targetted directly at WA residents.

Re:Bets? (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551328)

You have very cute and endearing notions about justice, fairness, police and prosecutorial discretion, the strength of constitutional principles, and probably life in general. And, I see, amazing technology that is able to crawl inside a person's head and determine intent...keep your damn headcrabs away from me, dammit!!!

Maybe I'm being mean. I am a bad person after all. But you were being pedantic, and that's never nice. ;)

Re:Bets? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551439)

And, I see, amazing technology that is able to crawl inside a person's head and determine intent...

Indeed. I have this cunning process. What happens is we take a representative sample of the population, and a trained adjudicator. Then one party delivers evidence to show that the person deliberately and wilfully performed certain actions. Then the other party presents evidence to show that either the person either did not perform the actions, did not do so deliberately and wilfully, or such actions were not in fact against the law. Then the sample of the population discussses the evidence and comes to a conclusion about whether they think the person broke the law.

This is why murder and manslaughter are different crimes. The actual result is the same, the primary difference is one is intentional and the other is accidental.

Re:Bets? (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551528)

You are a very magical man (woman?)! I am in awe of your process, but I still fear your headcrabs. I also seem to recall that magical system having flaws of its own; the sampling process for example, biases towards people who can afford financially to participate in the process and are not wily enough to escape having to do it, and is nothing like a random sample because the parties are allowed to select for secret biases when the group is formed and that representative sample often has more care and concern for what the parties are wearing and their haircuts than the facts in evidence (or so I was told by my Trial Techniques professor; she was a D.A. and would get comments all the time about how red wasn't a good color for her from jurors and that they disliked how mean she was to the denedant by implying he did something bad.)

Re:Bets? (1)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551375)

Ten bucks says they find a way to lead Google away in handcuffs.

Twenty bucks says someone will claim MSFT was behind the legislation if that happens.

Breakin' the law (4, Interesting)

pudge (3605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551170)

The same Seattle Times printed my letter to the editor [nwsource.com] on the same subject today.

HEY PUDGE: DID THOSE LIBERAL FAGS AT /. FIRE YOU? (-1, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551194)

haven't seen you post any stories for a while. or maybe I am not paying attention.

stupid faggot, check out his profile (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551453)

He backed off posting stories awhile ago. Stupid neocon cocksucker.

Supreme Court? (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551171)

I guess we know where this is going. I wonder how the new justices are going to vote....

Re:Supreme Court? (2, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551268)

Well, they just got rid of Knock-and-Announce for all intents and purposes (for a cute current USSC highlight), so the question isn't what they are going to do. The question is how much. I dunno, you wanna take bets on how badly they bone the First Amendment? (For all you creepy-crawlies--that means you, Slashdot laywer lurkers!--I'm well aware that the First Amendment does not apply directly to the states, but is rather incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment. Just so you don't gang-bang my post, you see.) My personal wager is that they find some way to justify this law using national security! Hah, wager! I crack me up.

Re:Supreme Court? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551274)

THis is a state law, it will go to the Washington state Supreme Court. The only way it would hit SCOTUS is if Washington state supremes uphold it, and the defendant appeals on US constitutional grounds.

Shades of the MPAA versus 2600 Magazine anyone? (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551181)

For some reason I'm thinking that precedent from MPAA vs 2600 Magazine might be a contributor, as they were successfully barred from even linking to DeCSS, even though they were no longer hosting it. And at that point, there was no ruling on the legality of DeCSS, either...

I know, there are some differences, but still, I don't think that referencing something should necessarily be a crime. I'm sure that there are exceptions, where people are being made victims by directing others to certain places, but this just seems extreme.

Re:Shades of the MPAA versus 2600 Magazine anyone? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551324)

The real problem here is determining who is actually breaking the law in this bill. Suppose that I post a link to a online gambling website on a bulletin board hosted in WA (bear in mind that I live in NYC). Is the guy who hosts the board responsible? Am I? Is the owner of the server responsible? What if I provide a link to an overseas website that provides both gambling and "legitimate" activity? Or a link to a casino in Vegas?

A bill that leaves so many questions about who is actually the violator, and what is actually a violation, is a bill that is intended to target a specific group. Unfortunately, in our current political climate, this is viewed as being completely acceptable, and even worse, a common practice (PATRIOT act?). If it is impossible to legitimately use the American legal system to make something a crime, the government will simply pass laws with overly vague definitions to effectively make something a crime.

Re:Shades of the MPAA versus 2600 Magazine anyone? (3, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551452)

The current paradigm is throw a wide net, round them all up, and let prosecutors sort them out afterwards. It's the new-and-improved shotgun methodology of law enforcement. And it works! They are almost guaranteed to catch somebody doing something naughty. Once I was arrested during a protest at a university, and charged with 'Disturbing the Peace' along with several other folks. Only later did they realize that in the great state that I live in, the statute forbids them from using DtP for civil disobedience cases. So, after the arrest, they cast about for some other statutory violation to make stick (they failed). I imagine most of the system operates approximately as sloppily.

Re:Shades of the MPAA versus 2600 Magazine anyone? (1)

Rohan427 (521859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551442)

So then it would seem to me that referencing anything illegal within any context in any format whatsoever, by the logic of the law behind this ruling, would be illegal.

There sure are a lot of libraries, books, newspapers, magazines, web sites, e-mails, and conversations out there that are breaking the law. We need more prisons to hold all the violators.

PGA

Re:Shades of the MPAA versus 2600 Magazine anyone? (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551593)

You mean, build more prisons? But that's a growth industry! Good for the economy! And keeps the damned riff-raff locked away; heck, they could be out walkin' the streets! Kidding aside, ever since the drug war started in earnest, prison populations have exploded. If they find a juicy new class of people to lock away, it would be wise (if not morally vacuous) to buy stock in prison management and or construction contractors.

Re:Shades of the MPAA versus 2600 Magazine anyone? (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551513)

Indeed. the 2600 suit was a low point and it may even be low enough for lawyers to find and use it.. Snake Belly Low...
  This is WA after all and gambling is what they seem to do for elections. gives a whole new meaning to "Crap Shoot"

By the way, re your Sig:
PROC OPTIONS (MAIN); PUT LIST "LOL"; END;

Craigslist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551182)

Oh No please don't take away my craigslist casual encounters!

By the logic of WA lawmakers... (4, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551188)

...any discussion whatsoever of rape, incest, murder, drug use, etc. must also be illegal.

Reminds me of when AOL added the word "breast" to their filters without thinking through the consequences. All the members of a breast cancer group suddenly had to start referring to themselves as survivors of "hooter cancer".

Re:By the logic of WA lawmakers... (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551208)

I really feel sorry for the poultry, grilling, and general cooking forum members too... ...as well as all of us who have a general positive opinion for such things...

Re:By the logic of WA lawmakers... (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551272)

All the members of a breast cancer group suddenly had to start referring to themselves as survivors of "hooter cancer".

Same deal with the cervical cancer groups. The filters discriminated against both hooter and cooter!

/rimshot

Re:By the logic of WA lawmakers... (3, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551294)

AOL added the word "breast" to their filters

There are no bad words. Only fucking idiots.

KFG

Re:By the logic of WA lawmakers... (1)

dotoole (881696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551311)

Legally this is more the equivalent of discussing child porn and ending the article with links to child porn sites. Bloody stupid law though.

Re:By the logic of WA lawmakers... (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551404)

Actually if you RTFA it's more like just discussing child porn (or any illegal activity). Linking to a site about the illegal activity doesn't appear to be necessary. Apparently the WA state law makes it illegal to transmit "gambling information." (nice & vague, ain't it?) The state is interpreting that to mean things like reviews of gambling sites are illegal. Even if the site didn't link to the reviewed gambling site I'd bet they'd just say "well people could easily find the website by searching for it on Google".

That seems like a violation of free speech, (3, Interesting)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551189)

not to mention common sense. As much of the information (other than reviews) on his site could be easily found using a search engine, I'm not really sure how collecting it on one site could be illegal. It's a lot like someone putting up a website reviewing various types of marijuana they have purchased in the area, and where they purchased it. It may be an illegal activity, but writing about doing it is hardly a crime.

Except... (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551244)

The implication of the pot example is that it COULD be used as evidence of posession/consumption. So there's not much point to that.

For their next trick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551201)

They will tell you where to use the restroom - what to read - what to listen to. They will be become a republic of China :-)

As a UK Tax payer... (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551211)


I'd like to thank the US for these restrictive laws that prevent US companies making money out of internet gambling.

Ahh the wonder of the US... legal to buy a gun... illegal to bet $10.

Keep up the good work, why not try prohibition again as well?

RE: why not try prohibition again as well? (0, Flamebait)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551293)

If they elect another Republican government, they will.

Re: why not try prohibition again as well? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551532)

There has been a prohibition against other drugs for decades now, some preceding the original prohibition against alcohol, none particularly effective at stopping people from using drugs -- and a law prohibiting online gambling will not prevent people from gambling online. You can add this gambling law to the long list of drug laws that have left our prisons filled to the brim with nonviolent, innocent Americans who did not harm others (even if you can argue they harmed themselves, but when did that become a crime in the US? I know it was in Nazi Germany...).

The unfortunate (meaning natural and good) fact of the matter is that laws which are not representative of the will of the people are virtually impossible to enforce.

Re:As a UK Tax payer... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551296)

Yeah, its absolutely insane. I'd go to an online card room regulated by the Nevada, California, or Washington state gambling commission in a minute before going to Party Poker [partpoker.net] or Poker Stars [pokerstars.com] . I'd feel safer with my money.

Oh, and as a Washington citizen I just became a felon again! Twice!

Re:As a UK Tax payer... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551347)

Coreection on first link- Party Poker [partypoker.com]

Re:As a UK Tax payer... (2, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551342)

I'd like to thank the US for these restrictive laws that prevent US companies making money out of internet gambling.


You do realize this is a law in one state [census.gov] out of the fifty states () that make up the United States of America... a state the represents about 2.1% of the total population of the United Stated of America.

Also it is very likely that this law will be found unconstitutional in part or whole at federal level (if not at the state level).

Re:As a UK Tax payer... (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551550)

You do realize this is a law in one state out of the fifty states () that make up the United States of America... a state the represents about 2.1% of the total population of the United Stated of America.

Regardless, gambling -- other than state lotteries (how's that for hypocrisy) is illegal in most US jurisdictions. This WA law just slides down that slippery slope to make talking about gambling illegal.

So the OP's original contention that its illegal to bet $10 is correct in the general case.

Re:As a UK Tax payer... (3, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551365)

Keep up the good work, why not try prohibition again as well?

We did. We changed its focus, thinking that would make a difference somehow.

Columbia thanks us.

KFG

Hold'em Up (1)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551214)

Since poker is illegal now, people playing "Texas Holdem" are now playing "Texas Holdem Up, Keepem where I can seeem."

gambling information (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551233)

> violates a new state law barring online wagering or using the Internet to transmit 'gambling
> information

You're telling me that hosting a site with the fact that opposing sides of a dice add up to 7 is now a criminal offence in parts of the USA?

Land of the free, indeed. Whatever happened to doing whatever you wanted unless it hurt someone else?

Sounds a lot like the DMCA... (2, Interesting)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551241)

The one good side is that if this gets struck down, why cant we get the DMCA's "trafficing" clause struck down as well? Telling someone how to gamble online illegally vs. Dimitri Skylarov telling people how to crack PDFs. Whats the diff?

Re:Sounds a lot like the DMCA... (2, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551282)

The diff is one is a pet law of some minor political goons and local tribes, the other is the pet law of a massive lobbying juggernaut with a vicelike grip on legislators at the federal level and a sustained propaganda campaign aimed at judges and the general public.

When you can get away with using a single subpoena to prosecute 500 unrelated cases at once in violation of due process amendments, keeping your pet laws in place is just pocket change.

Well... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551247)

One might think this is a clear-cut case of free speech. Until one considers the result of the famous MPAA vs. 2600 [slashdot.org] case, where 2600 [2600.com] was found to have violated the DMCA by merely LINKING to DeCSS, the code by DVD Jon that decrypted DVDs so that Linux computers could play them.

Another freedom, chipped away... And this one during the Clinton Administration. Sad for all of us.

Are they gonna arrest the newspapers? (5, Interesting)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551277)

Seattle Times lists sports betting odds [nwsource.com]

That's using the internet to transmit gambling information.

Re:Are they gonna arrest the newspapers? (2, Interesting)

Trolan (42526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551540)

Don't forget Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1904468136 [amazon.com] "Gambling Online" complete with a sample excerpt of the book!

Who is this law trying to save? (4, Insightful)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551280)

Who is this law trying to save? The children? You need a bank account or credit card to gamble online. Last I checked, most teens have neither.

C'mon... of all victimless crimes, does online gambling really need legislation? Tax it like Nevada and be done with it.

I mean... Washington has a state lottery. That means they endorse gambling. It can't be gambling that they hate... I think they hate all gambling where the state isn't the house.

Re:Who is this law trying to save? (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551343)

Who is this law trying to save?

It's intention is to save tax dollars. Every state in the US collects taxes from any legal casinos, bingo parlors, etc. located within their borders (this includes any casinos on indian reservations). Since these on-line casinos are located outside the US there's no way to collect taxes. That's one of the reasons why the federal government still has laws on the books about this. Ever since early 20th century it's been technically illegal to place any wager by electronic means in which the wager crosses state lines.

not always the case (1)

SEAL (88488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551517)

As I mentioned in another thread on this topic, Wizards of the Coast (now owned by Hasbro) is based in WA state. People who play Magic the Gathering Online and compete in tournaments for prizes are breaking the new WA state gambling law. However, they are paying taxes on purchases from Wizards of the Coast, and Wizards pays WA state taxes.

The real basis behind this law was lobbying from the tribal casinos. They don't want people gambling online because they think those gamblers will then, in turn, be more likely to drive over to the casinos to play in person.

Re:not always the case (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551555)

The real basis behind this law was lobbying from the tribal casinos. They don't want people gambling online because they think those gamblers will then, in turn, be more likely to drive over to the casinos to play in person.

And the reason the politcians agreed with this is because by the same logic it means the state collects more taxes. More gambling in the casinos means more income for the casinos which means more taxes levied against those casinos by the state. It's "win-win" for both the casino operators and the state, in theory.

Re:Who is this law trying to save? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551352)

Online poker can not be regulated in any reasable means.
It is protecting the consumer.

Don't forget, gambling and casinos come with a lot baggages. If the people in Nevada who don't gamble are impacted negativley by gambling.

Re:Who is this law trying to save? (1)

gorckat (960852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551447)

Money Orders are also a means of starting accounts with the sites.

TV censorship coming to WA (4, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551284)

So what's next, WA outlawing poker on TV? After all, it's promoting poker electronically. So all WA residents can say "bye-bye" to TV shows like the World Series of Poker, Celebrity Poker Showdown, etc? Then after that there's all the movies that depict gambling in them - from classics like "The Sting" to movies like Casino, Oceans 11, etc.

What about commercials they run? (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551493)

Many stations also have nationally advertised commercials for gambling sites, with the web address and whatnot as well. I would assume the channels running them will all be facing felony charges as well? ESPN execs are going to be in a lot of trouble....

Re:What about commercials they run? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551544)

No, no..

The scam is, they advertise for partypoker.NET, an "educational" fun poker site where no money or gambling is involved.

The fact that it happens to look exactly the same (and is operated by the same folks) as partypoker.com is just a coincidence, and if people just happen to go to the wrong site, then that's their fault.

On a side note, slashdot just linked to a poker site and now Taco's going to get it in the ass - business as usual.

HA! (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551287)

That'll show the Chinese who can censor better.

Why stop at one? (4, Interesting)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551305)

Why not make it illegal to link to a page that links to a page that links to gambling?

I can actually see how the legislators could see a reason to do that. Taxpayer X wants to link to a gambling site, but knows that that's illegal. So he links to a site that has links to gambling sites, and tells you to click through. (Even worse, maybe that link redirects to the gambling site!) So clearly this needs to be stopped as well.

And what about linking to a page that links to a page that links to a page that links to gambling?

As a prelude to the *AA going after . . . (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551320)

the authors of Gnutella/eMule/bitTorrent software . . . after all, it gives you access to where all of that illegal content is, right?

So, murder is fine now? (1)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551329)

that's all obviously enabling something that is illegal

Not taking steps to kill everyone you encounter enables them to commit illegal acts, and such enablement is illegal, so you have to kill people?

What? Murder is illegal?

So, what you're saying is that commiting an act is illegal as is not commiting it?

If I'm guilty of a crime by simply existing, then the law is fscked enough to be ignored in its entirety. And again, we come to the conclusion that murder is fine.

Jesting aside, the bigger issue here is one of grandfathering. Usually, when a physical state is no longer permitted, existing occurances of it are grandfathered, either for some time, or indefinately (think home wiring that was up to code when it was installed, but no longer is).

In this case, an existing web site suddenly became illegal by a legislative act. It takes time to change things, and yet there was no grace period in the legislation?

Clearly, legislators are clueless about information -- they appear to think it exists only when accessed and can't be prepared for such access beforehand.

Re:So, murder is fine now? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551561)

And what if you link to a site that links to a site that links to a gambling site?

Murder is illegal (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551341)

Let's outlaw all media that shows killing. Like you know, that Schwarzenegger movie.

The next casualty will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551346)

Microsoft Poker!

Searchengine's are illegal now? (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551356)

What are the implications running a crawler..?
Makes it your Google, MSN-search, Yahoo, AskJeeves, altavista, hotbot and many more illegal?

Or are they *again* going to be forced to filter out what "might be [illegal|offensive] in [state|country] xyz"...

vice laws (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551367)

Vice laws are a big fat waste of time really, they have never worked, and several thousand years of human history shows that the collective *we* enjoy various vices. Governments all over should just admit reality and move on to something constructive.

But wait... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15551390)

Isnt it illegal to limit freedom of speech(you cannt write about gambling sites)? o ya this is America...

WTF (1)

derEikopf (624124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551396)

"Telling people how to gamble online, where to do it, giving a link to it -- that's all obviously enabling something that is illegal."

Gambling is enabled by living...seriously, do these people even think anymore?

Yay! (2, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551397)

Okay kiddies! Let's play "BREAK THE INTERNET!"

You can't host, can't link, can't surf, can't, can't, can't.

Your computer's on? Can't have that! ARREST HIM!

Fuck, Yakov Smirnov's going to be moving back to Russia pretty soon.

In Russia, you go to parties to fuck.

In America, the parties fuck YOU!

Online Petition Started (2, Informative)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551429)

Washington residents please add your signature [petitiononline.com]

freedom of speech (2)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551430)

I'm sorry this is as bad as the DMCA.
I don't mind people deciding what kind of regulations they
want to have on gambling. There is a type of addiction some people
can have to it which argues for some restrictions, but I would do my utmost to oppose stopping someone from talking about it.

It is crossing a line and is undoubtedly unconstitutional.
then again I'm not sure that has stopped people when it came to the DMCA.

I don't like Nazi's but I'll support their right to tell people what they believe.
I don't like abortionist but I'll support their legal right to tell people what they believe.

What the conservatives pushing these laws don't realize is they are enabling the same kind of thing as the Canadian 'anti-hate speech' legislation which has made it very difficult to talk about the 'immorality' of homosexuality.
(something I'd be pretty certain they would not want to see happen here.)

in some ways they are cutting their own throats.
the problem is that not enough people are united on a topic everyone should agree on.

I may not support what you say but I am certainly going to support you right to say it.

I wonder if anyone has ever considered if the political spectrum is more like a circle then a line. The closer you get to the far left or the far right the more you resemble the opposite.

Myself I oppose Fascism I don't care if it is couched as 'conservative values' or 'broad minded liberal ideas'

Re:freedom of speech (3, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551467)

Talking about it and linking to it are different things. The guy could have talked about the sites all he wanted, referred to them by name, and so on..

He didn't cross the line until he explicitly linked to one.

High Times doesn't get in any trouble for talking about weed, but if they started running ads for dealers willing to ship to the US... Trouble's afoot. Plenty of sites have been burned for linking to "seed banks" outside the US.

Freedom of speech doesn't imply freedom of action. So sad, too bad.

Great argument (4, Insightful)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551456)

"...that's all obviously enabling something that is illegal."

Well, fantastic. So you can follow this up by making guns, knives, shovels, cars, bleach, and God knows what else illegal since they're obviously enabling murder. Oh, and we may as well outlaw crime mystery books since they provide information on how to do illegal things. But let's not stop at burning just crime mystery novels. We ought to burn chemistry books since that knowledge can be used to create poisons and explosives. And let's outlaw cars because criminals are notorious for using cars in their getaways. I see no reason to stop there, though. I can think of a lot of other stuff we ought to just outlaw today!

whats next to go?! (1)

Y.T.G. (964304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551487)

hmm... does this mean that anyone in WA who types "online gambling site x is mighty fine" anywhere online is going to have govt peeps knocking on his door and putting him/her away for a million and billion of years? I wonder whats next. Porn sites?!?! Did somebody say separation of state and church?!

Prohibition Doesn't Work (1)

MrCode (466053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551492)

When will the powers that be realize that prohibition, in any form, just does not work?

This is just another example of the lengths they will go to prop up a broken prohibition system.

Unless you make all people mind-controlled robots you cannot tell them what they can and can't do with their own money, time and bodies!

I'm so bummed... (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551496)

The republicans won't let me do drugs and now the democrats won't let me gamble. This sucks.

Wow! Holy Free Speech Violation Batman (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551504)

"or even DISCUSSING????"

Surely even the current supreme court is going to knock this down.

Surely this is free speech to even the most casual observer???

stupidity (2, Funny)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15551509)

I wonder if it is illegal to offer a online gambling to ip addressing coming from Mexico on a server running in Washington state ( but inaccessible from that state.)

Time to raid the server farms everyone.

(how to get your competing server farm or web host if they are located in WA).
1) rent from the space
2) but up gambling sight ( using IP routed through foreign country.)
3) report to WA the violation ( rinse repeate).

Thus driving up your competitors operating costs because now they have to monitor every sight they host or be shut down.

( i know I know not that terribly realist but the thought was funny ;)
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