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Legal Online Gambling May Return to US

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-have-the-right-to-lose-it-all dept.

The Almighty Buck 231

According to a story on News.com, legal online gambling may return to the US. The ban, put into place last year, is now in jeopardy thanks to the efforts of folks like Barney Frank, the Democratic chairman of the House Financial Services committee. Frank is of the opinion that adults should police themselves for excessive gambling, and the government should stay out of their way. "Friday's hearing included witnesses from companies that process online payments. In general, they echoed the arguments once used in favor of ending alcohol prohibition and that are now being invoked to decriminalize marijuana: It's better to legalize, tax and carefully regulate an industry than let it flourish with far less oversight in the black market. Some countries already do just that. In the United Kingdom, for instance, Internet gambling is legal and strictly regulated. Some of the larger online casino operators are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. "

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hmm (3, Insightful)

f1055man (951955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447007)

While Frank is a policy wonk, and usually tries to find reasonable solutions to real problems unlike many of his colleagues, I can't help but wonder who is paying for this.

Re:hmm (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447213)

correction: Frank is a twink that likes to suck cock.

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447417)

What he does when he's visiting your trailer is beside the point.

He's right on this issue, and he deserves the support of anyone who's sick of the nanny state telling us what to do.

-jcr

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447495)

Before they get around to legalizing online gambling, they need to:

1) restore bankruptcy laws to something sane. there's no grounds for the government to be stepping in and restructuring the law such that it's much less consumer friendly and applying it retroactively to pre-existing debt. it's the fault of the credit card issuers for not having enough of a clue not to extend so much credit to people likely to default.

2) fucking get rid of seat belt laws. if we're supposed to be smart enough to manage our money wisely, we should be smart enough to protect our, infinitely more valuable, lives.

3) let the airlines fail. if they can't come up with a rational business model, they need to die.

Re:hmm (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447545)

Seatbelt laws are more so based on two things, and neither is you protecting yourself.
1. You become a projectile in an automobile accident without a seatbelt to restrain you, therefore putting your passengers, and possibly those outside of your vehicle in the case of you flying out, in harm's way
2. You don't have a seatbelt on, someone hits you, and you get hurt very badly/die. That person is now fucked with insurance/manslaughter charges. Good game.

Re:hmm (2, Interesting)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447899)

No. Seatbelt laws are based on one thing: insurance company profits.

Additionally, if we were going to go with total freedom, as those who want unrestricted online gambling appear to desire, then it is up to the passengers to not ride with a non-seatbelt wearing person. What's more, in a traffic accident no one ever gets charged with manslaughter unless it was intentional or they were DUI.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447959)

Before they get around to legalizing online gambling

I'll take whatever rollbacks of government power I can get, in whatever order they arrive, thanks.

-jcr

Re:hmm (4, Interesting)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447321)

While Frank is a policy wonk, and usually tries to find reasonable solutions to real problems unlike many of his colleagues, I can't help but wonder who is paying for this.

I agree that he isn't likely to be "taking one for the team" because he thinks it's the right thing to do.

But, there's a larger issue here: The US has repeatedly lost to Antigua [iht.com] in the WTO, who has ruled that the US law against online gambling (while exempting other gambling within the US) is illegal under the WTO treaty.

The US has responded by saying "we will renegotiate the treaty". Needless to say, this hasn't gone over well with other members of the WTO.

Antigua has threatened to retaliate, but their options are limited. One proposal is for Antigua to sell US-copywrited material (i.e. music) online, without paying the royalties.

can you say... (3, Funny)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447425)

The Pirate Bay of the Caribbean ?

    Antigua could be a major hosting site for torrents...

Re:hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19448059)

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has plans to build a casino [theday.com] in his district (Masschusetts's 4th [wikipedia.org] ).

The article mentions three towns, two of which just so happen to be in Frank's district.

I wonder what odds the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe will give for their casino plans and Frank's push for legalizing online casinos being completely unrelated?

Reversal? (5, Insightful)

Paktu (1103861) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447013)

It's kind of interesting to see the Bush Administration in favor of restricting commerce, while Barney Frank (a Democrat) wants to allow a freer (albeit still heavily regulated) market.

Re:Reversal? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447653)

It's kind of interesting to see the Bush Administration in favor of restricting commerce, while Barney Frank (a Democrat) wants to allow a freer (albeit still heavily regulated) market.

You can say there are typically at least six wings or factions in the Republican Party: the Religious Right (lead by Bush and Southern Republicans), interventionists (led by Cheney and Rumsfeld), States rights, social conservatives (like Ronald Reagan and John McCain), fiscal conservatives (like Alan Greenspan and Newt Gingrich), and libertarians (like Ron Paul). Today only the Religious Right and the interventionists have much power in the Republican Party. The Religious Right thinks it is immoral and should be banned and the interventionists don't care either way. The groups that would logically oppose it--States rights, fiscal conservatives, and libertarians--have no power. So we have the Democrats proposing a freer market. This is bizarre but so is the situation that led the neocon alliance to gain power over the traditional conservatives in the Republican Party.

Re:Reversal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447729)

Maybe Barney Frank wants a really easy way to get people to accept taxing the internet. Fact: Gambling exacerbate social ills which demand government services (even in the least fettered markets, the sheriff shows up to escort people evicted from their foreclosed home). Only makes sense that the source of the ills pay for them. Hence taxes. Once online gambling is taxed, it's not that big a step for everything else.

haha my too human word? http://images.slashdot.org/hc/83/bc20b21a16c8.jpg [slashdot.org] liberals

Barney Frank. (0)

glrotate (300695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447027)

The rep who ran a gay brothel out of his home?

Re:Barney Frank. (1)

Paktu (1103861) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447061)

The rep who ran a gay brothel out of his home?

Personally, I am waiting to hear Rudy Giuliani's (the former mayor who lived with two gay men) position on this before I can make a rational judgment about online gambling.

Re:Barney Frank. (3, Funny)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447133)

The rep who ran a gay brothel out of his home?

Why not? His day job involves the world's most profitable brothel - seems like a smart bit of career choice.

Now, why exactly is this relevant to, you know, online gambling, which generally involves a minimum of hot man-on-man action?

READ YOUR BIBLE! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447035)

GAMBLING IS A SIN - Please Keep the Ban!!

Remember jesus loves you

Re:READ YOUR BIBLE! (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447169)

WEARING MIXED FABRICS IS A SIN [biblegateway.com] - Please Institute a Ban!

Remember jesus went unto the tomb and then rose after three days to eat THE BRAINS OF THE LIVING ARRRRGH

Re:RTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447271)

Sin for the Jews maybe. If you even learned about the Bible, you would know that the Levitical Law was for the Jews, not for us Christians. But hey, this is /., who reads the scriptures anyway. RTFS seems a little sacrilegious.

Re:RTFS (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447285)

If you even learned about the Bible, you would know that the Levitical Law was for the Jews, not for us Christians.

I have, you presumptuous, anonymous ass. Now, please direct me to the passage in the New Testament that declares gambling a sin.

Re:RTFS (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447337)

Oh, and by the way, don't try pointing out statements by Paul [biblegateway.com] that have to be teased through the interpretive comb to get results. I mean, really, who's missing the point badly enough to presume that anyone other than God in the person of Jesus can declare something a sin, except those who somehow venerate the a book, the product of the Nicene Council's editorial processes which elevate the writings of a man alongside those supposedly spoken by God?

Re:RTFS (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447419)

the Levitical Law was for the Jews, not for us Christians. ..and that is only one of the clear proofs that jesus was not the messiah.

-jcr

Re:RTFS (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447793)

No, I don't think so. The laws in Leviticus were not supposed to be for anybody after Jesus came and died for the collective sins of mankind. Its just that non Christians never accepted the deal. People buying into only a portion or non at all has no effect upon whether or not Jesus is the true Messiah.

But what do I really care; I didn't accept it either.

But sort of back on topic: I don't understand what the fundamental difference here is between in person gambling and online gambling. I would wager a guess to say that the differences in behavior aren't as big as people might think. Sure online you don't directly touch the cards or cash, and as such can go through a huge number of hands very quickly. But one also isn't typically being given free drinks, distracted by other patrons or being separated from the time of day. No modern casino has clocks, and few have easy access to windows for the higher stakes games.

It seems to me that if done properly it ought to be possible to keep the nanny state politics to a minimum without unduly impairing an individuals ability to keep money for rent and food.

Re:RTFS (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447969)

The laws in Leviticus were not supposed to be for anybody after Jesus came and died for the collective sins of mankind.

Sorry, that proposition is made up from whole cloth, and has nothing to do with judaism. The messiah is supposed to be a great teacher and leader who brings peace to the world, and jesus obviously did nothing of the kind. Claiming that he'll do so in a "second coming" is nothing but an excuse.

-jcr

Re:READ YOUR BIBLE! (5, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447227)

"GAMBLING IS A SIN" would only equal "NEEDS A MAN MADE LAW" in a Theocracy. I think a good portion of following the teachings of the Bible is that it should be something done out of free will, not a requirement of the state.

Re:READ YOUR BIBLE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447461)

The irony is that the bible never specifically mentions gambling.

If the gp poster had really read his bible, he'd know this.

Oh well, he's just a troll anyway.

Re:READ YOUR BIBLE! (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447905)

The biblical prohibition against gambling is derived from several places, even though it is not mentioned explicitly. Coveting, which the bible does explicitly mention, is condemned, and gambling to get rich, or any so-called get-rich-quick schemes for that matter would definitely fit that bill The bible also says that a person is supposed to work for what he gets (condemning laziness and expectations that the world owes one something). Finally, it advises to not put stock in worldly wealth, pointing out that people that love money have seriously misplaced their priorities in life and are unlikely to ever be satisfied unless they change their values.

Re:READ YOUR BIBLE! (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19448143)

The irony is that the bible never specifically mentions gambling.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's poker hand.

About that, Mr. Frank... (3, Insightful)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447039)

From TFA:
""In the end, adults ought to be able to decide for themselves how they spend the money they earn themselves," said Rep. Barney Frank"

Yeah, about that. You see Mr. Frank, you arrange the taking of a very large percentage of the money I work hard to earn every year, and you decide how it should be spent for me. So if you could go ahead and look into that while you're at it, that'd be great, mmmkay?

So it takes online gambling to get Barney to come around? Looks like someone must've spent a lot of time playing online poker.

He's lying! You can tell, his lips are moving. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447107)

So it takes a large wad of cash donated by companies involved in online gambling to get Barney to come around? Looks like someone must've spent a lot of time playing online poker.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:He's lying! You can tell, his lips are moving. (3, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447153)

sometimes with lawmakers and corruption larges wads of jizz are involved too

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (2, Interesting)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447117)

The thing is, he knows he can tax it when it's legal again.

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447429)

You see Mr. Frank, you arrange the taking of a very large percentage of the money I work hard to earn every year, and you decide how it should be spent for me. So if you could go ahead and look into that while you're at it, that'd be great, mmmkay?
I think the press has covered this one quite well. Maybe you haven't been paying attention.

The largest of that large percentage being squandered is for the war in Iraq. The remnants are used to build a missle defense sheild for Western Europe, and to build roads to nowhere near the artic circle.

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447559)

The largest of that large percentage being squandered is for the war in Iraq.

The amount being spent on Iraq is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount being spent to ensure that your mother-in-law has gets a monthly government check so that she never has to move in with you. And it's worth every cent.

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447519)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] users [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy, beige [imageshack.us] PC fingers to yourself.

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447617)

> Yeah, about that. You see Mr. Frank, you arrange the taking of a very large percentage of the money I work hard to earn every year, and you decide how it should be spent for me. So if you could go ahead and look into that while you're at it, that'd be great, mmmkay?

Right. So, we'll be discontinuing police, fire and ambulance service to your house. Also, you can no longer use any public roads, only toll roads (this may not be that bad if you live in Jersey).

I hope you don't mind?

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (4, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447683)

Heh, oddly enough, Rep. Frank was the same one who, a while back, criticized [house.gov] supposedly free-market conservatives for voting for farm subsidies:

This spectacle allowed even liberal Barney Frank (D., Mass.) to hold forth as a fiscal conservative. "I have listened to many of my conservative friends talk about the wonders of the free market, of the importance of letting the consumers make their best choices, of keeping government out of economic activity, of the virtues of free trade, but then I look at various agricultural programs like this one," Mr. Frank said. "It violates every principle of free market economics known to man and two or three not yet discovered."

        He then delivered this zinger: "I have been forced to conclude that in all of those great free market texts by Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and all the others that there is a footnote that says, by the way, none of this applies to agriculture."

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447799)

Oh, a libertarian. How cute.

It's nice to know that children can access /.

Maybe when you grow up, you'll be able to understand the necessities of society and its structure (including taxation). As a citizen of a country you have both rights and responsibilities, and the whole society is a lot more complex than just you.

(BTW, don't like paying tax? Move to some area where tax isn't collected. Those areas do tend to be in rather lawless and corrupt countries, so you might not have access to all the amenities and conveniences you are used to... but you understand that completely, right?)

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (1)

Astro Dr Dave (787433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447869)

You're kidding, right? So I wonder, how could the federal government possibly have managed before 1913? Until the 16th amendment was ratified, the US federal government did not have the power to levy an income tax. (Of course, the federal government did collect an income tax from 1861 until 1894, when a court ruled the practice unconstitutional.)

This country operated without an income tax for many years. Of course, there was no social security, no giant military-industrial complex, and no "wars" on drugs or terror. Hm, actually that sounds pretty good to me...

Re:About that, Mr. Frank... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447999)

So it takes online gambling to get Barney to come around? Looks like someone must've spent a lot of time playing online poker.

Barney Frank is the US representative for Massachusetts's forth district [wikipedia.org] . This includes such towns as Middleborough and New Bedford.

In a completely unrelated story, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has plans to build a casino in either Middleborough or New Bedford [theday.com] .

wow (5, Funny)

rangek (16645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447073)

I am stupefied. Barney Frank has finally done something I agree with. The skiing must be pretty good in hell nowadays...

Re:wow (1)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447125)

What you weren't on board with protesting at veterans funerals?

What kind of patriot are you?!

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19448023)

Don't mislead here. He did not protest veterans' funerals. He stood up for the 1st amendment. He refused to be "politically correct", and voted on principle rather than pragmatics.

Re:wow (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19448119)

What you weren't on board with protesting at veterans funerals?

When did Frank protest at anyone's funeral, veteran or otherwise?

Re:wow (1)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447127)

Not only that, but Congress may be about to pass a bill that leave us better off than we were before.

Could it be?

Well, this is terrible! (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447091)

The American people are nowhere near mature enough to be trusted with foolish ways to lose money! I, for one, demand that this motion be defeated by moralizing [senate.gov] elites [house.gov] with the power to regulate our vices! Such measures always work [wikipedia.org] as planned!

Re:Well, this is terrible! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447447)

Surely you're not trying to suggest that the congress is an elite group?

-jcr

Re:Well, this is terrible! (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447531)

You say that, but let's get real here. If the smart people let all the dumb people ruin their lives, the dumb people will come demanding that the smart people take care of them. Until they are willing to abolish social security, medicare, welfare, disaster relief, education grants, etc. then the stupid fucks who want to spend their money building houses in flood plains, building houses in tornado alley, building in hurricane prone areas, on earthquake faults, etc. can go ahead and do that. But as long as they're taking my fucking money to support other people's lives, then no, people aren't mature enough to manage their own money and lives.

Gambling (1, Funny)

Spookticus (985296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447119)

oh come on...just one more post to slashdot....just one more, please?

Re:Gambling (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447201)

Now THAT's a bad bet. The odds of getting a well-reasoned mod are something like 9:4, while the payout is only...erm...

Re:Gambling (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447421)

Karma. Only karma.

Re:Gambling (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447953)

Yeah, but ever since they took away the numbers, where's the gratification?

With all due respect ... (4, Insightful)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447143)

... what's the problem? Our government tried to outlaw a "sin" in the 20's with a Constitutional amendment, and had to repeal it because it was unpopular and unenforceable. I never thought outlawing it was a good idea anyway. I could care less about online gambling personally, but I am a recovering alcoholic and could certainly see how life would be a little easier if there was no booze anywhere around me. But that will never happen, just like a complete eradication of online gambling will never happen. It's just not practical, and I honestly question whether it's ethical anyway. Besides, it's up to me to stay quit -- not the government.

I happen to like Barney Frank a lot -- he's often the no-BS guy in a flock of honking geese in suits worth more than my car. And sometimes he's an arrogant jerk. But I rarely feel like I'm getting the D.C. sugar-coating treatment from him. So perhaps I'm biased. But still, I just don't see that this is a bad thing.

In a free society, people are responsible for themselves (and their children). If they can build a boat here in Illinois (we can't have land-based casinos, but we can have permanently docked unseaworthy boats -- go figure) where people can freely walk in and piss away their money, why should this be outlawed on the Web? It's a silly, unenforceable, and reactionary law that deserves to be repealed. The Reverend Lovejoys of the world had their year or two of cleanliness on this one, and it's time to go back to rational laws about things that the government should be focused on.

Re:With all due respect ... (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447243)

Barney Frank will fuck you up the ass just as much as anyone else in DC. Of course, he'll do it literally, rather than figuratively.

Re:With all due respect ... (0)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447247)

Besides, it's up to me to stay quit -- not the government.
Preface: It IS the governments responsibility to protect it's citizens. Fact: Gambling addictions are common and desperately hurt families. Question: Is it not then, the governmetn's responsibility to (can't totally prevent) minimize that? If "Yes" and you still have you opinion, then what SHOULD be done?

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447279)

Question: Is it not then, the governmetn's responsibility to (can't totally prevent) minimize that? If "Yes" and you still have you opinion, then what SHOULD be done?

Given your premises, perhaps one might actually target gambling addicts, rather than driving the legitimate hobby of at least thousands onto the black market? Just a thought.

I mean, I know one has to break a few eggs to make an omelette, but breaking a few cases is just ridiculous.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447317)

Workaholics are also quite common and damage families. Maybe the government should ban work?

The only time you should need the government to protect you from yourself is, if a judge has sentenced you to live in a mental asylum.

Re:With all due respect ... (4, Insightful)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447427)

Preface: It IS the governments responsibility to protect it's citizens.

Not from themselves. You should look into who is REALLY being protected with prohibition laws.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447553)

Although saying it is government's responsibility to protect citizens may be true, it is an over-broad generalization, and the vagueness of the term "protect" can be easily defined to mean almost anything.

Gambling is not addictive, just like guns do not kill people. There are addictive personalities however. I believe there are already laws that protect people with addictive personalities from being exploited by casino's. These laws can also be used with online casino's (if they are not already). Granted no laws or regulations are foolproof, as no law will ever be.

If you take an addiction prone individuals vice away, then that person will just use another vice, or even worse, go underground where he will be less likely to be controlled or monitored, and where there will be absolutely no laws or regulations protecting that person at all.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447557)

Preface: It IS the governments responsibility to protect it's citizens.

I reject this premise. Saying that the government has a blanket responsibility to "protect" the citizenry from everything is a terrible idea. It's not a "slippery slope" so much as it's just pointing the nose of a plane at the ground and wondering what'll happen. Since you can't ever be 'protected' against everything and still have any semblance of free will, the end result is that government will always begin to intrude, further and further, into private life.

The government has a responsibility to protect citizens from a few, rather specific, types of risks and threats -- not all of them. And certainly protecting people from themselves, when they haven't been deemed incompetent, isn't one of those situations.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19448141)

But your killbot still has an 8-bit preset kill limit....

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447667)

Question: Is it not then, the governmetn's responsibility to (can't totally prevent) minimize that?

If that were the case, then why do state governments typically run gambling operations that have worse expected paybacks (~ 50 cents on the dollar) than virtually any private operation? You'd think that to minimize harm, the government would strive to return as much money as possible to the people making the bets.

On top of that, they hype prizes which have odds of winning that are often less than the odds of being killed in a wreck while driving out to the store to buy tickets. How many thousands have been needlessly lured to their deaths by the governments that are supposed to be protecting them? It's just horrible.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447251)

The Reverend Lovejoys of the world had their year or two of cleanliness on this one, and it's time to start finally making, for once, rational laws about things that the government should be focused on.

Fixed. No charge.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447563)

This is absolutely nothing like prohibition. Why you ask? Because it'd be easy for the government to actually control this if they wanted to. They just don't let six or seven businesses (visa, mastercard, etc.) pay money to the online casinos. At that point the casinos won't let anybody in the US play because they'd have absolutely no way of collecting from the losers.

Re:With all due respect ... its more to do with... (2, Insightful)

sane? (179855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447881)

Its more to do with this ban being an illegal act under the WTO rules, with two judgements against the US and the threat of sanctions and fines. As has been reported before, US companies could lose international IP protection via Antigua if something isn't done.

The US HAS to move, otherwise Microsoft faces legal copies of software and Hollywood faces legal movie copies. It was always a stupid law, an illegal law - now there is a scramble to save face.

Re:With all due respect ... (1)

Orleron (835910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19448133)

I couldn't agree more. Look at the moderates [moderatesayings.com] of the world to understand the general sense of personal freedom AND responsibility that should be the norm. Conservatives don't understand that having strict views is ok so long as you don't force them on others. "Do what you want, so long as it doesn't scare (or hurt) the neighbors' dog." Don't even get me started on what the liberals do wrong.

Taking things out of the black market (4, Insightful)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447145)

In general, they echoed the arguments once used in favor of ending alcohol prohibition and that are now being invoked to decriminalize marijuana: It's better to legalize, tax and carefully regulate an industry than let it flourish with far less oversight in the black market.
YES! I personally am not a drug addict or anything, but if you were able to buy crack, heroin, and marijuana in your local CVS, the world would be a much better place. If you could obtain these substances legally, they would be under a lot more control. Less accidentally unboiled rat poison. Additionally, gangs and mafias would be out of business.

The side effect would be the companies selling the drugs, just like the cigarette companies today, but it is the lesser of two evils when compared to the mafia or a street gang.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447415)

"but it is the lesser of two evils when compared to the mafia or a street gang."

You mean allowing a HUGE chunk of the population be addicted as opposed to a small manageable chunk?

I say this knowing full well that I use to live in the ghetto next door to a crack house which has been the cause of a dozen sheriffs with shotguns raiding MY house to see if a known felon that was supposed to be next door might be hiding in my basement. And many other misfortunes...

So yeah, allowing the gov't to sell this means that there will be fewer kingpins that are screwing up the neighborhoods. I wouldn't have to worry about shootouts with bullets hitting my home (I had to move my bed away from window and stay away from the side of the house that faced the crack house).

At the same time, how are you going to manage the multitude of new addicts who now don't feel the need to hide the fact that they are doing drugs. And it doesn't matter if the dealer is selling their crack for $5 a pop, or $2.50 from the gov't, the addicts need to find the money to buy this crap somewhere. Well known that radios and car windows just go missing in neighborhoods where crackheads live.

You get rid of the relative few BIG criminals and make tons of small criminals. And then these small criminals bring in the need for the loan sharks and what should we do? Have the gov't help out with taking money out of the blackmarket by just funding the non-lifestyles of these idiots? Give these folk welfare? And then we figure out how to buy the food credits from these folks (even though foodstamps are no longer 'stamps' and on CCs, you can still buy this stuff for pennies on the dollar from welfare queens...I'm ashamed to say as a poor college student 15 years back, I found a way to make $50 become $150 of food).

You *NEVER* get rid of the blackmarket by legalizing something. The blackmarket will just move on to the next marketable product. The criminal elements will still be the same players. The cure for criminal behavior is not legalizing said behavior. The cure for criminal behavior is making certain folks with these traits can never reproduce again (thats as far as I'll advocate, you can take what ever opinion you wish beyond that).

Re:Taking things out of the black market (4, Insightful)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447469)

You mean allowing a HUGE chunk of the population be addicted as opposed to a small manageable chunk?

That's all well and good except for one thing: You cannot show that a "huge chunk" of the population would become addicted to drugs.

And it doesn't matter if the dealer is selling their crack for $5 a pop, or $2.50 from the gov't, the addicts need to find the money to buy this crap somewhere.

Right. Everywhere I've lived there are roaming gangs of alcoholics and cigarette junkies breaking into apartments and stores, stealing items, and selling them in the pawn shops to support their habit. Give me a break.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447791)

You mean allowing a HUGE chunk of the population be addicted as opposed to a small manageable chunk?

  Prior to Prohibition, there were a handful of saloons in New York city, and they were male only. Drinking was a social event, and virtually nobody drank alone. After prohibition was passed, there sprang up thousands of speakeasy saloons across New York, and they popularized drinking among women as well. The desire to leave no evidence lead to more solo drinking at home.
  After prohibition ended, rates of drinking did NOT skyrocket, but rather began a long, slow slide. Even better, alcoholism became recognized as an actual illness that deserved treatment. In the prohibition era, suggesting such a thing marked you as a prohibitionist; it was impossible to talk about the subject rationally for as long as the insanity of the prohibitionists was in force.

And it doesn't matter if the dealer is selling their crack for $5 a pop, or $2.50 from the gov't

Try "free." The drug market regularly sees 100% markups, since the majority of drugs have a negligable cost of production. Sure you could charge $1.00 or $0.50 or something for clinical fees, but it makes no difference. Provided at cost, a heroin addict can afford his necessary levels of heroin on a McDonald's salary. (What's more, heroin has very little ill effects when clean and administered properly. People have lived for decades and been productive and valuable members of society while addicted to heroin in the past, but our current law turns them into parasites instead.)

You get rid of the relative few BIG criminals and make tons of small criminals.

Actually trial runs of this sort of thing in Britian showed a twelve-fold reduction in crime rates. So no.
It also showed a drop in current numbers of addicts, a reduction of new addicts, lower rates of prostitution and consequently lower transmission rates of stds and aids.
  But I'm sure your idea would work really well.

You *NEVER* get rid of the blackmarket by legalizing something.

Tell that to all the prohibition-era gangsters who went legit after the law was repealed. The mafia dropped in size to less than half its previous numbers. The only thing that saved them was the illegalization of narcotics.

he cure for criminal behavior is making certain folks with these traits can never reproduce again (thats as far as I'll advocate, you can take what ever opinion you wish beyond that).

  You really have NO FUCKING CLUE how many people you're talking about, do you? Here's a hint: We haven't got enough police to even hold that many people, much less line them up and push them into incinerators.
  Asshole.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447875)

Try "free." The drug market regularly sees 100% markups, since the majority of drugs have a negligable cost of production

Ooops, I meant 1000% markups.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (4, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447833)

The fact is, legalization does NOT increase drug use. It merely legitimizes it. (I've read scientific studies on this from the past, when Reagen intrigued me with his "War on Drugs" bullshit). I can guarantee you that people who do not want to do drugs today, will not want to do drugs tomorrow just because they are legal.

Legalization will just get rid of the criminals (thugs, murderers, etc), and stop criminalizing the victims (those prone to addiction, etc).

Why we would want to spend thousands of dollars a year per person (for sometimes many, many years) putting people in jail because they have a psychological problem defies any sense of logic (to me).

Re:Taking things out of the black market (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447453)

Man, I don't know if you're being sarcastic or what, but if I could buy weed at the local CVS, I wouldn't have to sell my body for crack anymore. The world would indeed be a much better place.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447463)

Not to mention the lower taxes, ok well more likely just more services for the rest of us who don't piss away every last cent on gambling, and on occasiona we can rationally choose to spend money at a casino, knowing full well the odds of winning. Have you priced a vacation trip to to disneyland/world/skiing/cruises/europe? How is such a large amount of money spent on those recreational activities ok but gambling is not. As with most thing I will always prefer regulation + taxation over outright bans. This applies to drugs, prostitution, gambling etc...

And lets not even get into the different types of gambling, some of which are pure chance like roulette, and others like texas hold em are games of skill as much if not more than games of chance.

Lets legalize online gambling, encourage online casinos to set up shop in america so the tax dollars stay here instead of goign to some random island country no one ever heard of before.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447897)

Have you priced a vacation trip to to disneyland/world/skiing/cruises/europe? How is such a large amount of money spent on those recreational activities ok but gambling is not.

Indeed. I love hearing about how drug laws are intended to protect people from themselves, yet we allow people to drive automobiles, mountain climb, play football, and engage in a plethora of other "safe" activities. Personally, I'd rather light up a doobie in the sanctity of my home than spend a bunch of money trekking to tourist traps to deal with a crowd of assholes accompanied by their bratty kids, cellphones, and discarded chicken bones and broken bottles.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447795)

if you were able to buy crack, heroin, and marijuana in your local CVS, the world would be a much better place

Really? Alcohol & tobacco are legal, and still cause a lot of harm. Crack & heroin are far, far more harmful than booze & cigarettes.

Legalization would be a disaster.

Re:Taking things out of the black market (1)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447877)

if you were able to buy crack, heroin, and marijuana in your local CVS, the world would be a much better place

Really? Alcohol & tobacco are legal, and still cause a lot of harm. Crack & heroin are far, far more harmful than booze & cigarettes.

Legalization would be a disaster.
That's still no reason to keep certain drugs criminalized. It's social segregation, or as I like to call it, apartheid. Yes, aparthied. I have to run and hide from the cops, buy my drugs illegally, use my drugs in secrecy, while other people can buy their drugs at the store, use them in public. Hell, there is dedicated drug dealers / drug taking houses called pubs everywhere. It's apartheid.

Though just selling it all at a store isn't the solution either. There needs to be education. Dealers should have to make their customers aware of the effects of the drugs they are selling.

Drug User Liberation [druguserlib.net]

Re:Taking things out of the black market (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447979)

Again, I have to post here just to stop the folklore of myths out there. Heroin is NOT more harmful than alcohol. It is more addictive than alcohol, yes. Like a previous AC poster stated, people can live their entire lives addicted to heroin and be very healthy and productive citizens. The problem arises when heroin is made illigal:

- Prices are artificially inflated, and cause those who are addicted to commit crime to support their addiction
- Diseases like AIDS and hepatitis are spread to the general population because people often cannot get clean needles
- Jails are overburdened with people that have mental problems
- Police resources are wasted
- Taxes are wasted

The ignorance of the general population to legislate things that they don't bother educating themselves about is astounding. If we could get the police out of our school system telling us how bad Drugs are and actually have (unbiased) scientists and psychologists telling us the truth instead of the FUD, then there may very well be some hope for the drug problem that the government has largely created.

Online gambling A-OK but don't forget the natives (1)

adminstring (608310) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447167)

I'd like to see taxes on profits from online gambling go straight to funding for basic education in impoverished areas. Many Native casinos could be put out of business by this thing, and it would be a shame if those communities lost most of their revenue and nothing made up for it.

I agree with the libertarians that anyone should be able to engage in any "vice" they want to in the privacy of their own home as long as it doesn't directly harm anyone. But I also think we have a responsibility to those whose circumstances aren't as fortunate as ours have been. There are some nearly-third-world areas of the US that could use a leg up, and in the process of restoring some basic freedoms to us online yahoos and googlers, we could end up taking away their only hope for a better life.

Re:Online gambling A-OK but don't forget the nativ (1)

Isaac-Lew (623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447777)

Why couldn't the Natives open their own online casinos?

Re:Online gambling A-OK but don't forget the nativ (1)

bsa3 (200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447949)

Their revenue? The Native Americans only share a duopoly on gambling because they're able to take advantage of regulatory arbitrage and states haven't figured out that they'd collect more profit from taxes on privately-run gambling. They're no more entitled to it than AWB [wikipedia.org] was entitled to export all Australian wheat or Carlos Slim [wikipedia.org] is entitled to pwn [telmex.com.mx] Mexicans' wallets.

And your suggestion to direct revenue from gambling taxes to education is faulty -- that's likely to be a federal tax, and we have too much federal involvement in education as is. (No Child Left Untested, anyone?)

(Full disclosure: I work for the federal government. That means I have a heightened awareness of how good we are at pissing [usda.gov] away [porkbusters.org] taxpayer dollars.)

From the same party... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447241)

That's all about banning video games. Woohoo!

Re:From the same party... (2, Funny)

Kenji Mapes (1091519) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447703)

Any one want to bet on the outcome of this?

The government is all for gambling... (2, Insightful)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447273)

That's why they want to enforce their local monopoly, um, I mean encourage people to play the lottery. If they had banned the lottery, vegas, etc when they banned online gamboling, it would have at least been consistent. As it is, there's no doubt that the government is just looking for more money. So they'll be happy to allow internet gamboling if they can regulate and tax the bejesus out of it, like every other legalized "sin".

Re:The government is all for gambling... (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447467)

If they had banned the lottery, vegas, etc when they banned online gamboling, it would have at least been consistent.

If I cannot dance, I want no part of your revolution.

I would've loved Barney Frank... (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447287)

If his opinion on adults' ability to police themselves extended into non-entertainment areas of life...

If he grew the understanding, that we are likewise capable of saving for retirement, finding job, choosing health-care options, etcetera, I would even have forgiven his copious amounts of non-help in the case of my grandmother's immigration to the US.

Re:I would've loved Barney Frank... (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447375)

If he grew the understanding, that I, unlike millions of Americans, [census.gov] presently have the option of saving for retirement, finding job, choosing health-care options, etcetera

There, fixed. No charge. Sorry for the PDF.

Re:I would've loved Barney Frank... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447727)

choosing health-care options

That would simplify things greatly. For example, if you have a preexisting condition, you could choose your healthcare options from the empty set.

We need some like the nevada gaming commission (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447301)

too keep on line gaming fair and to enforce law against people who may try to cheat it and that may come from both sides.

Now with 50% less broken bones. (0, Offtopic)

agent (7471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447325)

Watch the Sopranos, or I will fucking kill you.

I'm all for legal gambling, alcohol, and drugs (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447745)

It's the heavy taxation and strict regulation I am opposed to. These are all things that should be controlled entirely by private citizens. Good old capitalism can handle these problems and there is no more justification for government regulation than any other industry.

Here is a wild thought, instead of trying to micro-manage every industry where businesses could endanger the health of individuals with poor standards or swindle individuals we start making the executives and investors in ALL businesses criminally liable for the actions. If food or drug processor took an action that harmed or endangered people then the ones who made the call should go to pound me in the arse prison. The same is true of casinos that use rigged machines that constitute fraud. Right now a company can use a dangerous chemical that will hurt people to cut corners and make hundreds of millions doing so. IF they get caught, the worst they face will be a few million in fines and lawsuits and probably will make a net profit on the affair. Even if they break even they will profit from the practice overall since any punk kid can tell you that the cops don't even know most crimes happen let alone catch the bad guys. If you make white collar decision makers subject to the same sort of consequences as the hungry crack addict on the street you can bet the decisions they make will reflect that.

Aside from enforcing criminal law, the only time the government needs to interfere with industry is fix the fundamental flaw in the free market. The flaw is of course companies that are too large to allow real competition. Of course single company monopolies aren't the only problem that needs to be solved, it is common practice now for several supposed competitors to collude in a manner that has the same effect as a monopoly. In both of these situations it is necessary for the government to step in and the right to property has to be considered secondary to the interests of the nation as a whole.

Hopefully Ron Paul's "Republican" buddies can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447781)

...be reasoned with, but I doubt it.

He is a big supporter of Frank's efforts. But the top dog Republican is one of these new-breed losers who will surely try to stop this. Maybe Ron can hit him with a clue.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19447855)

Here's where I do my "legal online gambling":

www.etrade.com
www.thinkorswim.com

(thinkorswim ROCKS by the way, if you trade options)

Legalized gambling (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447985)

Add futures and commodities to the mix: Risk/reward ratios, anyone?

http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/main.php [interactivebrokers.com]

Thanks for thinkorswim - bookmarked it.

Re:Legalized gambling (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19448003)

Whoops - hadn't read far enough on thinkorswim - will be comparing rates to see overall best deal - thanks again!

yeee haw (1)

Domo Arigato (1113317) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447885)

look, I'm all against fornication and sinning so long as it's others who are forbidden...but if I wanna gamble away my brat's edumacation cuz I have a "problem" then I should be able to! I mean, I could just as easily be a sociopathic philanthropist who gives the same money to heroin squeegee punks who demand more change! like zombies (super chill to the homeless) but instead, I'm a .Net programmer who profits from a previously legal industry that was destroyed overnight last november by a line item in a port authority bill, that actually had nothing to do with trade other than restricting free trade (online gambling ban is technically illegal according to free trade laws, which America doesn't really care because it doesn't obey any international laws/treaties itself, except it expects others to bow to its magnificence and cower in fear of its new world order of capitalist scumfukkery) does that make me a hypocrit? directly profiting from the misfortune of others? first off, no. if someone is dumb enough to give their cash away in a game statistically rigged against them, that's their damn fault for valueing the temporary thrill of a win to rational, sanity. same reason why people jump off planes or mountains in flimsy human kites or human bungee yoyos. That is their fault! same thing as others have pointed out about alcohol (not a sin, drink jesus' blood, you vampires) or drugs (metarx? we got a cure for depression: suicide! take two of these and don't call me in the morning, you gullible pill pipping dumbfucks). do we ban alcohol? no! "puritanism was a bad idea in victorian england, and it's a bad idea now", someone once wrote here on slashdot...that's totally true. the more you whitewash humanity through litigation, the more you demand its existence to its subversiveness. there's something very important in THE SPIRIT of PERVERSENESS, the longing of the soul to vex itself, to do wrong for the wrong's sake only, to offer violence to our own natures. maybe it's a survival mechanism...for every 90/100 who are sheep by confluence of genetic predispositions, there are 10 who are vehemently opposed to "going with the flow". uniformity, conformism, are extenction characteristics of a calcified, doomed species. since we're adept at adaptation, I'd say, let the natives profit where they can, off our misery, off their own...and either rise or die as species do. we can do all we can to change or help, but if there's something fundamentally broken in their mindset (I work on a reserve, but am caucasian...so I know something of the suicide stats there and furthermore the ugliness of the big chief/italian/israeli nepotism that is the online gambling industry) anyway, I hope this damn law gets repealed, because eventually the world will get fed up of america and will massively invest in ways to bring you down...barbarians at your door, so to speak. You can't pretend to be "for the little guy" when the "little guy" can't afford a major surgery, or stand for fairness and justice when there is already a thriving non-internet gambling industry of $30B USD per year. Go against gambling addiction by fighting the root causes...a lust for earthly gold as opposed to gold of character. I'm not talking about forcing spirituality or some other nonsense as a solution (which never worked before, and never will...believing in lies does not illuminate the truth, no matter your pugnacity or persistence to portray it so)...I'm just saying let people make their mistakes, let them have their sins...because the word "sin" only has power to those living in fear of divine repercussions...humans should be ruled by our intellect, flaws and all... in a sane, un-extreme and somewhat fair way. Government nepotism was just as sure a sign of decline of the roman empire as was its military anarchy or civil wars. Politicians are trying to create a theocracy and natural selection will eventually deal with people whos heads are in the sand. Eventually ignorance will be a burden even the US economy will no longer be able to bear.

Re:yeee haw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19448025)

Because your a .NET programmer I have to ask this question:

Have you ever heard of this thing called a line break?

So Rotten argument... (1)

JagsLive (1106379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447909)

This is sooo Rotten argument that,

"It's better to legalize, tax and carefully regulate an industry than let it flourish with far less oversight in the black market."

And it is made by the people that do NOT have any damn skill in any damn field to make money other than Gambling.

Open source gambling software, anyone? (1)

gilgsn (239700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19448083)

So, who wants to write an open source gambling software? We have OSCommerce, why not OSGambling ;-)

Gil.
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