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US Outlaws Online Gambling

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the you-bet-your-life dept.


imaginaryelf writes, "As reported earlier on Slashdot, in the closing hours of the US Congressional session on Friday, September 29, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (H.R.4411.RH) was attached to the Safe Port Act of 2006 H.R.4954.EAS. To the surprise of many, the bill passed both the House and the Senate, and Bush is expected to sign it into law this week. This effectively outlaws online gambling in the US, by way of making it illegal for credit-card companies to collect payments for bets. The financial markets punished the stock of online gambling companies as some prepared to pull out of the US entirely."

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I Feel so much safer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280515)

from the Terrorists now.... Thanks Congress! Oh wait! This isn't for fighting terrorist? My Bad.

Re:I Feel so much safer (2, Interesting)

bluelip (123578) | about 8 years ago | (#16280625)

Possible circumvention?:

The companies sell you a t-shirt. The cc companies can process that payment. It just so happens that a promo is going on that gives the user 100 free 'tokens' when they purchase a shirt.

Mike Coles

Re:I Feel so much safer (3, Insightful)

TheGreek (2403) | about 8 years ago | (#16280729)

It just so happens that a promo is going on that gives the user 100 free 'tokens' when they purchase a shirt.
And how do you get your winnings out, Kreskin?

Another free shirt?


Re:I Feel so much safer (1)

bluelip (123578) | about 8 years ago | (#16280775)

The bill doesn't state the companies can't mail you a check.

Re:I Feel so much safer (1)

TheGreek (2403) | about 8 years ago | (#16280895)

The bill doesn't state the companies can't mail you a check.
This piece of legislation may not specifically address that.

But I bet the US Postal Inspectors would be more than happy to intercept any check any offshore Internet casino might send you.

It works in japan.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16281107)

cash gambling is illegal in japan, but guess what pachinko does?

you purchase and play with small b.b. sized metal balls, and the payout is in balls.
you can exchange these for a number of prizes, including small tokens.
within a block of the pachinko parlor, there is a shop that buys said tokens. []

it's already been done.

personally, though, I'm glad online gambling is illegal. i live in Vegas. the local casinos pay most of the taxes.

hooray. (4, Funny)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | about 8 years ago | (#16280521)

Thank God the congress knows how to protect me from the evil casinos! Four more years!

not necessarily bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280649)

Does anyone realize how much money is flowing out of the U.S. and into the pockets of these casino operators and foreign governments? While I do not agree with the moral justification for the passage of this bill, the economic justification is quite sound. Why should the U.S. allow foreign companies to suck money out of the U.S. economy, and then not even pay taxes back to the U.S.? It makes no sense. This type of bill would do better for the country, IMO, if U.S. companies who payed U.S. taxes were allowed to operate online casinos. That way, money would be kept inside the U.S. and the casinos could be regulated by the government, like Las Vegas casinos.

Re:not necessarily bad (4, Insightful)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 8 years ago | (#16280751)

The hypocracy! Aren't these the same people yelling 'Global Economy' at the top of there lungs, and signing free trade agreements with every country that has cheap labor. I guess the world economy only counts if it give the U.S. and advantage.

Re:not necessarily bad (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | about 8 years ago | (#16280827)

I don't see a legitimate reason for gambling to be illegal. If someone wants to gamble, smoke, shoot themselves in the foot, or whatever, let them. And no, you don't have to force everyone else to support a safety net for them in the form of (publicly funded) rehab or health care. As for the "think of the children" bunch: if they have kids whom it's negatively impacting, take them and give them to someone who can take care of them.

Re:not necessarily bad (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16280863)

Why should the U.S. allow foreign companies to suck money out of the U.S. economy

Because that's what The People want? Does there need to be any other reason?

Remember, government derives its power from the just consent of the governed.

Re:not necessarily bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16281005)

Yes, that is what the people want, in a sense. People want to gamble. They do not really care whether the company that provides the service pays U.S. taxes or not - as long as it provides the service they desire. I agree with you that people should be allowed to gamble if they want to (morals are not the issue here), only I believe there is a better way - companies operated in the U.S., under U.S. regulation, paying U.S. taxes.

Re:not necessarily bad (2, Insightful)

partenon (749418) | about 8 years ago | (#16280875)

Let me just remind you something: internet is worldwide. Internet is not *american*. So, if online casinos would need US government license to operate (and pay taxes), so, should I presume that online casinos also need brazilian license and, of course, pay brazilian taxes?

Re:not necessarily bad (2, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | about 8 years ago | (#16281029)

You're looking at the problem in reverse. The reason these companies are off-shore is because of the laws in place by the US. Its like me trying to open up a winery during the prohabition. It'd be plain stupid. Why would these people host gambling sites in America if its been illegal from the get go? If they're pissed off that the economy is loosing money, then they could change the laws which would encourage local gambling. They won't so this is the only viable solution to plug the hole.

Circumvention (1, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 8 years ago | (#16280535)

It seems (and I've never used a gambling site before and I don't advocate breaking the law) that to get around this, all you have to do is deposit the money to a "legit" offshore intermediary who then places your bets in your stead. Unless the government wants to audit all offshore businesses for gambling, everything looks kosher and compliant with the law. What am I missing?

Re:Circumvention (3, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | about 8 years ago | (#16280637)

The only drawback I can see is you might end up in an offshore prison [] without access to a lawyer or any due process, since the only reason you would do this is to fund terrorist attacks, right?

Re:Circumvention (2, Informative)

nuzak (959558) | about 8 years ago | (#16280727)

> What am I missing?

Money laundering laws. The gist being that they don't care what middlemen your money goes through, it's the endpoints that count.

Re:Circumvention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280813)

Then it seems to me that the correct thing to do is leave America. Save a seat for me on the last plane out.

Re:Circumvention (1)

nuzak (959558) | about 8 years ago | (#16280833)

I'm not entirely sure you'd want to try leaving through an airport. Maybe we won't have fenced off Canada when you do want to leave ;)

Worse Problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280777)

How are they going to stop all that online stock market speculation?

Don't try to tell me that the return on investment is guaranteed, or that business ventures aren't a gamble, because they are. 90% of businesses fail in their first year.

Anyone want to bet that online casinos will be targeted by this law, but Wall Street will remain strangely exempt?

Re:Worse Problem (1)

Sierpinski (266120) | about 8 years ago | (#16281045)

Anyone want to bet that online casinos will be targeted by this law, but Wall Street will remain strangely exempt?

I don't know about all states, but in Ohio, the lottery is still legal, and thats definitely gambling. Maybe if some of the profits went to fund schools they wouldn't have outlawed it.

My Sim City 4 city has been thriving with a casino for quite some time. They even erected a statue of me because they love me so!

It will never stick (3, Funny)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | about 8 years ago | (#16280537)

5 will get you 10 they won't enforce it.

They're not going after _you_ (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 8 years ago | (#16280759)

They're going after the credit card companies.

I'll bet you 5 bucks it sticks.

Re:They're not going after _you_ (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | about 8 years ago | (#16280871)

The credit card companies have been blocking gaming transactions for years, in the U.S. Mostly out of their own self-interest since gaming transactions had much higher chargeback rates. What they're going after now are electronic fund transfers between U.S. accounts and either the gaming companies or the financial intermediaries (Neteller, Firepay, et al.).

Re:They're not going after _you_ (1)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | about 8 years ago | (#16280973)

I'll take that bet... let me get this straight -- you just bet that you are going to jail, right? Why don't you just give me $20 and we'll call the whole thing off.

Ah, but they will (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 years ago | (#16280893)

5 will get you 10 they won't enforce it.

They'll have the legit online gaming community look after it for them -- the big casino companies, who have the most to gain from this. I bet you don't have to look very far to see who really was behind this. It's not about money laundering, it's about a big business keeping it's slice of the pie.

I'm having a hard time caring... (1)

halivar (535827) | about 8 years ago | (#16280559)

YRO aside, it is currently illegal is gamble in most of the United States anyway, except certain states and indian reservations. So, in this case, I don't really feel that anyone's "rights" are being trampled. All that's happening is that a loophole by which US citizens could gamble in foreign countries without leaving their houses has been closed.


Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (2, Insightful)

HUADPE (903765) | about 8 years ago | (#16280693)

Well, your rights were being trampled before, and now they closed the loophole by which you were able to secure your right to waste your money. Gambling is stupid, no doubt (you WILL lose), but you SHOULD have the right to make your own stupid decisions. Just because a government is tyrannical does not mean its people don't have rights. They are just having their rights significantly violated. The greater question here is where was the credit card lobby. They are going to lose serious money on this (1% fee on $12bn of transactions, PLUS the fact that people who gamble tend to have high debt and revolve credit at high interest rates).

Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (5, Insightful)

psykocrime (61037) | about 8 years ago | (#16280761)

YRO aside, it is currently illegal is gamble in most of the United States anyway, except certain states and indian reservations. So, in this case, I don't really feel that anyone's "rights" are being trampled

Rights do not depend on laws; either to grant said rights, nor can rights be revoked by law. If something is a right then it's something
you can do without asking anybody's permission, period. You can voluntary accept the authority of some entity (maybe called "government" or something) to restrict *your* rights if *you* want to, but don't make the mistake of assuming that govt. has any inate authority to restrict anyone else's rights.

As such, I will say that free people have a "right to gamble" and have most likely never granted the United States government - or any other government - any authority to restrict it. As far as I'm concerned, any law restricting gambling is invalid, null and void and should be ignored.

Basically it goes back to the old saw... "We have exactly as much freedom as we are willing to demand and as we can defend."

Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16281109)

Er, that's how governments come into being. It's a social compact whereby you delegate and/or give up certain rights to a governing body. Why? Because democracy is ineffective above a certain small number. You honestly can't go out and solicit 300 million individual opinons. The contentious issue is just where the line is drawn, and what rights are retained by whom. Even I - a socio-anarchist libertarian - know and respect that. I just want the line drawn granting the government a bare minimum of "rights" and responsibilities.

Yeah, you can ignore the law. Just prepare to be *justly* punished. Things like this are to be changed through the political process. Failing that, the judicial process. Failing that, through revolution.

Do you really think we're going to make it to revolution over online gambling?

Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (1)

aztec rain god (827341) | about 8 years ago | (#16280801)

Powerball much?

Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (1)

Alchemar (720449) | about 8 years ago | (#16280811)

How many of those states have goverment lotteries, church run bingos, or allow internet transactions for the Stock market? If only a select few (goverment, certain religions, and the wealthy) are allowed and others are not, then somebodies rights are being trampled.

Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (2, Interesting)

Tet (2721) | about 8 years ago | (#16280993)

YRO aside, it is currently illegal is gamble in most of the United States anyway

Rubbish. It's currently illegal to gamble on certain outcomes (sports, card games, etc.), while being legal to gamble on other outcomes (share prices, for example). It's a completely arbitrary distinction, that has no logical rationale. Either you believe that gambling is immoral and should be banned or you don't. To selectively allow some types of gambling while banning others is just bizarre.

Disclaimer: I make my income from online gambling, so I probably have a certain amount of bias. Currently very little of that is with US bookies, so this will have very little monetary impact on me. But it's still a stupid decision.

Re:I'm having a hard time caring... (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | about 8 years ago | (#16281027)

It wasn't so much a loophole as a gray area, because there wasn't a specific law covering it. All we had was the Federal Wire Act, which said that placing sports bets by phone was illegal. Hence the recent high-profile arrests of the heads of Internet sports books, at least one of which I know had a toll-free phone number set up in the U.S. to do exactly that (take sports bets by phone). Now Internet gambling isn't a gray area.

impact on gambling stocks (4, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 8 years ago | (#16280563)

"The financial markets punished the stock of online gambling companies as some prepared to pull out of the US entirely."

I bet they did. Shit, someone's knocking at my door.

Sour Grapes (4, Insightful)

TheWoozle (984500) | about 8 years ago | (#16280567)

Congress is just upset that they can't effectively tax online gambling because most of the companies are offshore. It's a case of sour grapes - if we can't tax it, you can't do it!

Should we fear for the Internet? (1)

krell (896769) | about 8 years ago | (#16280641)

"Congress is just upset that they can't effectively tax online gambling because most of the companies are offshore. It's a case of sour grapes - if we can't tax it, you can't do it!"

There have been movements, pretty much shot down, for Congress to tax the hell out of the Internet. (Some state governments have actually managed to add news sales taxes on out-of-state Internet sales: interstate commerce protections be damned!). Should we let Congress tax it soon so they don't end up destroying it?

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | about 8 years ago | (#16280773)

But they could if they wanted to.

Just tell the (US) credit card companies they can't do business with a casino unless the transaction is clearly marked GAMBLING in the charges statement. Then tell them to produce a statement every year in January totalling anything that is marked that way, a lot like a 1099-G. The Govt will assess X% witholding on the transactions, through the CC company, and the gambler has to file for it or forfeit the money. If the CC company doesn't comply, they get hit with 10x penalties. Some will cut off the casinoes, the others will start to report.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about 8 years ago | (#16280987)

It is exactly this type of argument that shows congress didn't outlaw it because they can't tax it (because they could); they outlawed it because of God.

Re:Sour Grapes (4, Interesting)

Blob Pet (86206) | about 8 years ago | (#16280821)

Actually, many of the U.S.-based casinos have been advocating for regulated online gambling which would allow for the US government to tax the industry. Companies like MGM would like to open up gambling sites but can't. Even UK-based companies have stated that they'd be more than willing to pay taxes to operate legally in the US.

Re:Sour Grapes (2, Interesting)

Politburo (640618) | about 8 years ago | (#16280881)

Several of the large companies operate out of the UK. In fact, the executives of these companies are BEGGING the Congress to regulate the industry (regulate != shutdown). Who ever heard of an industry that's willing to pay taxes? But that was all tossed away by those "moral" GOPists.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

Stalyn (662) | about 8 years ago | (#16281055)

Why not pass a law that all online gambling companies wanting to do business in the US must have a headquarters located within US borders and therefore taxable?

If it was just about taxes they wouldn't be banning all online gambling, just the kind they can't tax.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 8 years ago | (#16281095)

Sure they can tax it. The winnings have to be paid out electronically somehow, don't they? The bank that receives it will report the income for tax purposes.

Damn, Gotta Love the Wording. (3, Interesting)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | about 8 years ago | (#16280593)

According to the bill's title, the act was already illegal and all it is doing is enforcing it. If that's the case, why was a bill needed? Shouldn't it have been law enforcement's problem?

Its that missing step again (1)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | about 8 years ago | (#16280831)

1. Make it illegal to gamble online, since you can't figure out how to tax it.
2. Force the credit card companies to enforce the law you made.
3. Profit!
The profit being that law enforcement doesn't have to figure out how to trace it, they just have the credit card companies monitor for the activity, and make the arrest.

Shifting responsibilities (4, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | about 8 years ago | (#16280903)

Since the bill will make it illegal for credit card companies and other financial institutions to be involved in such transactions, it seems to be a refinement of target. Formerly the individual could be targeted, but that would be expensive and ineffective. Ten thousand charges could be brought forth without impacting the number of violations significantly.

If you shut down the payment options, you will greatly reduce the number of violators. It's an effective way of achieving their goal.

Re:Damn, Gotta Love the Wording. (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | about 8 years ago | (#16281135)

It was a giant grey area previously. The only law on the books was the Federal Wire Act, which forbids placing sports bets by phone. It took quite a stretch of the imagination to have that apply to Internet gambling. Nonetheless, companies in the U.S. were heavily pressured to not accept advertising from them with vague threats and such from government agencies. Now the gray area isn't nearly as gray. It's not like we don't have a history of misleadingly named legislation anyway (PATRIOT act, anyone?).

We have no one to blame but ourselves . . . (-1, Troll)

mmell (832646) | about 8 years ago | (#16280597)

We permitted the evangelical right to seize power in the United States in a coup d'etat the likes of which Machiavelli would have been impressed with!

Re:We have no one to blame but ourselves . . . (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 8 years ago | (#16280745)

"We permitted the evangelical right to seize power in the United States in a coup d'etat the likes of which Machiavelli would have been impressed with!"

If it helps you sleep to believe it was a coup, so be it. I find it far more frightening to consider that the current establishment may in fact be an expression of the general will of the American People.

Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280603)

Degenerate gamblers.

Looks like the gambling sites are cornered now.. (1)

Jack Pallance (998237) | about 8 years ago | (#16280617)

If only there was some way for companies to draft money directly out of a checking account!

Re:Looks like the gambling sites are cornered now. (1)

IflyRC (956454) | about 8 years ago | (#16280797)

Do you REALLY trust online gambling sites to draft out of your bank account? You do realize drafts like that are pretty much non-reversable right? You signed to allow them to draft from the account - the bank can't do anything regarding a draft in a sum over the amount you agreed to. You have to take it up with the company.

Re:Looks like the gambling sites are cornered now. (1)

Jack Pallance (998237) | about 8 years ago | (#16280989)

Do you REALLY trust online gambling sites to draft out of your bank account?

No, I REALLY don't. I don't think any Slashdotter would. What I do think is that people that have a gambling addition may not think things all the way through. They just know they have to put $200 on the Colts right now, becuase it's just before kick-off. And the Colts are a sure winner, so there is no chance of loosing money out of the checking account.

Or if the Colts don't cover the spread, they will be sure to make it up next weekend.

They just need to win enough to pay the rent...

Second Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280627)

So one of the biggest industries in Second Life is gambling. Considering that the money used, Linden$, can be freely traded with other currencies does this apply?

Does this affect trying to get money out? (3, Interesting)

bryz (730558) | about 8 years ago | (#16280631)

The Way I understand it is, you put in some money and play with that. Will they now block being able to get your money back out. And with online casinos looking to close their US operations will they just take the money in these accounts with them?

Re:Does this affect trying to get money out? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16280975)

The same thing that happens if bookies try to do it. If you place a bet on a game and win, then the guy says he never heard of you when you show up at his place to collect, what are you going to do? Call the cops?

Predictive Markets? (1)

lsm2006 (949039) | about 8 years ago | (#16280651)

The greatest loss would, IMHO, be the end of the emergence of Predictive Markets, which are uniquely suited to online application.

Has anyone seen an analysis of the impact of this legislation on Predictive Markets?

Politically incorrect and I don't care (5, Funny)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | about 8 years ago | (#16280655)

Why couldn't our nation have been started by someone cool instead of a bunch of lame Protestants.

Re:Politically incorrect and I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280819)

Actually, the current crop of Republicans remind me of hypocritical Puritans of the wacko variety. They are soooo very out of touch with the American people.

Re:Politically incorrect and I don't care (1)

mmalove (919245) | about 8 years ago | (#16280877)

In other news - Sweden stealth supports software piracy, err, I mean free software!

You know - what is Sweden's immigration policy?

Re:your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280907)

I hate to say it, but IMO (which is shared with MANY others) the Simpsons have been going downhill for a long time.

Not to say this point shows any disagreement with your sig except maybe the "once they go off the air" part.

Re:Politically incorrect and I don't care (1)

xombo (628858) | about 8 years ago | (#16280937)

Historically incorrect, not politically incorrect.

America was started because of unjust Taxation without representation on the colonies that were started by privateers with charters to incorporate from England.

Re:Politically incorrect and I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280955)

It wasn't [] . The lame protestants just want you to think it was.

its all about protectionism (4, Insightful)

Facekhan (445017) | about 8 years ago | (#16280659)

A brick and mortar casino gaming license wouldn't be quite as lucrative a give away to the wealthy and well connected if they had to compete with online casinos that anyone can set up overseas. Lets face it, a legal casino in an area where gambling of most forms is illegal is basically an ATM machine with flashing lights.

In my state the hypocrisy is reaching new heights as the GOP governor continues to try to allow slot machines at horse tracks while it is still technically illegal to play poker among friends.

Re:its all about protectionism (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 8 years ago | (#16280731)

Last time I visited Vegas, I actually found a slot machine with a built in ATM. No shitting you.

Affects eBay and PayPal/ (3, Funny)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | about 8 years ago | (#16280687)

Does this mean they're going to take down eBay and PayPal?

I certainly feel like I'm gambling whenever I do business there?

How about Ameritrade? Stocks are certainly gambling

Re:Affects eBay and PayPal/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280795)

Stock speculation is certainly gambling..but INVESTING is not gambling. Yes I know this is off topic, sorry.

Re:Affects eBay and PayPal/ (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | about 8 years ago | (#16280959)

The bill has specific exemptions for "accepted" forms of American gambling. Such as the stock market. And fantasy sports leagues.

it's so sad... (4, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | about 8 years ago | (#16280701)

the the legislature of my country is so incompetant, to get something they want passed, they have to tack it on to something completely irrelevant.

Effects on Spam? (1)

Diss Champ (934796) | about 8 years ago | (#16280719)

If we're lucky, this will decrease the profitability of online gambling spam- if there isn't a convenient way for them to get your cash fast, their ability to pick up impulse bussiness should decrease.

Then again, since it's only the US, and spammers seem to prefer a shotgun approach, it might not make any difference. Since there are still plenty of people who could easily waste their money elsewhere, the spam will continue.

Gotta love the system... (4, Insightful)

D-Cypell (446534) | about 8 years ago | (#16280725)

How on earth is it legit to tack a completely unrelated bill to another and pass them both under the same vote? Am I the only one who sees how unbelievably insane that is?

Surely anyone voting against the bill will be blasted for not securing US ports, even when it was a vote in protest to the anti-gambling legislation.

The way the US government goes around telling the world how to run their 'democracy' is so incredibly laughable at this point.

Re:Gotta love the system... (2, Insightful)

Pasquina (980638) | about 8 years ago | (#16280997)

That's how you get people to pass legislation that isn't popular - you attach rider bills to attract more votes. Some people would always vote for the "tacked on" part even if the bulk of the bill wasn't popular, while othersacceptefer the main part and simply accept the unrelated parts. I know it doesn't make sense, but if each individual idea brought before Congress was voted on its own merits, not nerely as much would make it into law.

...OK, so that barely makes any sense at all, but that's still how it is.

Sick of that bullshit tailcoat riding they do (5, Insightful)

Sierpinski (266120) | about 8 years ago | (#16280733)

More than anything, this is a prime example of how members of Congress manipulate the legislation system to get a bill they want pass to ride on the coattails of a 'sure-win' bill. Then after that they basically pass the buck off to the courts (if it ever makes it that far) to overturn the law or declare it unconstitutional or whatever.

I think its about time that Congress get off their lazy asses and start drafting their own bills for the particular agenda items they have. This sort of manipulative behavior itself should be outlawed, but find me a single member of Congress that would vote to outlaw it. In a system where checks and balances are supposed to exist, they certaintly don't here.

Hello organised crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280739)

Sounds like an ideal opportunity for organised crime. High returns, high demand and a marketplace that has been cleared for them by government action. Happy times are here again. You too can buy your stake through any one of a hundred routes and gamble from your home. Who needs drug trafficing when you're given such a wonderful opportunity.

With any luck this dumb act will get struck down by the WTO for the protectionism it is - before the marketplace for online US gambling is completely owned by crime.

we've met before (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16281089)

Ummm.. who do you think is already running it you fucking dummy?

Re:we've met before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16281169)

Not organised crime. You've been listening to too many lying politicians and Fox broadcasts. These are listed companies with careful oversight, reporting requirements and a need to be clean. What replaces them will not be.

To really piss off the Republicans(and wimpy dems) (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 years ago | (#16280747)

we need to figure out way to combine gambling and porn.(well, more than the cliche strip poker, which I don't want to play online...ewww..)

Might I suggest games like "How many grams of heroin has this woman done in the last half hour" or "How many men has this 'virgin' slept with?"

kinda already is one: (1)

Lawmeister (201552) | about 8 years ago | (#16280899)

anyways, I hope all you Americans remember this as well as all the other BS that the Republicans have pulled over the last 6 years and get out and vote next month.

Land of the free.... only if you're the ones in power.

I feel safer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280799)

Well I don't know about you guys, but I for one sure feel safer knowing our politicians are spending time outlawing gambling. (that is, unless it's government sanctioned gambling.) Al-Qaeda's got their game-face on about this jihad their waging against us, and what the hell are the people tasked with protecting us doing?? they're worried about people playing games. The prognosis for this country is not good people, things need to change.

Time to put my numbered Swiss account on eBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16280839)

I bet I'll be able to sell my paltry $2500 numbered Swiss bank account for a tidy profit as soon as Unca W signs this into law.

Neteller? (1)

rnelsonee (98732) | about 8 years ago | (#16280859)

I thought that everyone was prepared for this - is it not still legal, or at least impossible to prosecute, using your credit card to fund a third-party online payment site like Neteller, and then pointing "gaming" site to your Neteller account? The credit card company then has deniable plausability by never knowing where your Neteller money goes/comes from.

there are a slur of other options out there to (1)

myfootsmells (905742) | about 8 years ago | (#16280861)

fund online gambling sites: neteller, firepay, etc. i'm sure these companies are happy that US customers can no longer use credit cards because customers are now forced to pay their large transaction fees.

Re:there are a slur of other options out there to (-1, Flamebait)

hal2814 (725639) | about 8 years ago | (#16281131)

A "slur" of other options? Like wop or greaser or kike?

Wow (2, Interesting)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 8 years ago | (#16280865)

I'm frankly surprised that the credit card lobby didn't kick up a bigger fuss on this. They stand to lose millions in user fees and interest. While I think anyone that gambles on credit is a fool, the credit companies were happy to enable such behaviour.

Re:Wow (1)

LOTHAR, of the Hill (14645) | about 8 years ago | (#16281123)

Credit card companies aren't too keen on doing business with people who have a gambling problem. They have a strong tendancy to not pay thier debts...

I know some credit card companies are in favor of this kind of legislation because online gambling is a large source of fraud claims.

Re:Wow (1)

mjh2901 (570983) | about 8 years ago | (#16281145)

Umm the credit card companies know what companies are online gambling sites, they will simply take that list and not allow any CC transactions to those companies. The hope is most of the people who loose money gambling get pulled in due to the simplicity. While there are ways around the credit card thing, it requires a lot of hoop jumping and most people will stop the minute it starts askinc for checking account info and not letting them use a credit card. And I am sure if it becomes a problem with debit transactions congress can simply pass another law making it illegal for banks to transfer money to offshore gambling companies.

Not To Open A Can of Worms, But MMOG? (4, Interesting)

aldheorte (162967) | about 8 years ago | (#16280883)

So, if I pay $15 a month to subscribe to a massively multiplayher game where I get some amount of starter virtual currency, and the game has as a subset of functionality a mechanism through with I can gamble my virtual currency, and a mechanism exists to transfer that virtual currency into real currency through eBay sales or some process officially allowed or even serviced by the massively multiplayer game maker, is my subscription illegal?

This doesnt chang a thing (1)

thorkyl (739500) | about 8 years ago | (#16280897)

"credit-card companies to collect payments for bets"

Now you just have to pay in advance, ohh wait we do that already.

Casino Gift Cards. (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 8 years ago | (#16280929)

I will soon be selling Cassino Gift Cards that can be used to buy stuff in their 'gift shops'.

Gov't protect me against myself... (1)

ctglahn (1008487) | about 8 years ago | (#16280943)

Why did we need a bill for something that was already "illegal"? What a waste of time, energy and talent. Could credit card companies not address this themselves? Just not allow the transaction? My guess is they weren't the ones complaining. It was probably some bleeding heart who couldn't control their own addiction that said, "I lost money, there should be a law." and unfortunately in our society someone always listens. That's just sad IMHO.

Re:Gov't protect me against myself... (1)

haggie (957598) | about 8 years ago | (#16281167)

Although time and effort was wasted in this bill, there was no "talent" used or wasted in production of this bill. On the other hand, there were measurable amounts of "bumbling" and "gross incompetence" identified with this bill.

Wall $treet (1)

Froze (398171) | about 8 years ago | (#16280945)

I suppose that I will have to satiate my gambling habits with options, futures and currencies.

Would someone please code a flash game that looks like roulette, blackjack, slots etc that was actually an interface to some brokerage for short term investments?

Stacked Deck (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 8 years ago | (#16280969)

Funny how the Republican Abramoff machine [] that took bribes to protect casinos against new competition is still cranking out its legislation product, even after Abramoff is headed to jail. Maybe they're just hedging their bets in case they get jailed for protecting Republican boy rapists [] .

Why the "cause celebre" of the lobbyists who paid to elect Bush and his Republican Congress being passed by them surprises anyone is the only mystery here. Or is it pure "chance", according to some coincidence theorists?

Not so bad (2, Informative)

litewoheat (179018) | about 8 years ago | (#16281003)

This doesn't really matter all that much. It means that US banks and credit card companies can't process the transactions. Companies like Firepay [] are off shore banks that can accept lawful deposits from US banks and then in turn handle gambling related transactions.

The law doesn't impose any penalties to gamblers so there's nothing illegal about taking any winnings by using the offshore banks to funnel those winnings back to a US account.

The problem is it's just harder now for the average player to make a deposit. I think in the long run this will be better for the above average players by keeping the degenerate gamblers out.

The new 419... (3, Funny)

jdumps (931324) | about 8 years ago | (#16281007)

Hello Sir, My name is Jacob, and I am a wealthy businessman from the United States. New laws by my government have removed my freedom to gamble my money online. I have $40 millions that I would like to use for to gamble, but unfortunately may not use a United States banking account. If you would send me your bank account information I will deposit this funds. I need you to transfer this funds to an online gambling site. In return, you may keep $2 million. I selected you especially for this task. Please reply quickly, my gambling habit is giving me fits!!! Sincerely, Jacob Rich U.S. Businessman Moneys! Come rollin' in!!!

d'oh (1)

joe 155 (937621) | about 8 years ago | (#16281033)

I've been disapointed to see that the UK government hasn't been leaning on Bush more over this issue, a lot of UK based compainies lost a lot of money today (although I think that the sensible ones have been spreading the risk). The US quite rightly leant on the EU over the MS issues because MS is worth a lot to them... I would have liked to see Blair at least being active on this issue.

More loopholes (1)

Provos (20410) | about 8 years ago | (#16281037)

Well, you know, if you're that deperate, use an extra-territorial card backed by an extra-territorial bank. Sure, it's now illegal for US credit card companies, but try as they might, Congress can't pass a law (yet) that affects how banks and creditors in other countries do business.

Just sell goods instead of Gambling (1)

DieNadel (550271) | about 8 years ago | (#16281039)

So now a company outside US cannot use credit-card companies to collect gambling money... so what?

Really, move out of US and sell "happiness cards". The business works like this:

1) User searches a gambling site;
2) On a gambling site, the user has the option to buy "happiness cards", for 1 dollar + postage each;
3) For each "happiness card" bought, the user earns 1 playing bonus;
4) To legitimate the business, the "happiness cards" are really delivered to the user's given address.

Suggestions for "happiness cards":
- Porn;
- Landscapes;
- Puppies;
- Funny babies.

Hey, House and Senate, stop trying to regulate dumb things, and try to get a grip on Net Neutrality!

Your policestate is comming along nicely (1)

Snaller (147050) | about 8 years ago | (#16281065)

...meanwhile, hand me the dice Baby - Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!

*sigh* (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 8 years ago | (#16281083)

I wish some of you effers out there would start voting libertarian. I'm so sick of legislated morality.
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