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Interesting repercussions on US internet gambling "ban"

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Interesting repercussions on US internet gambling "ban"

Postby RugbyD » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:21 am

Interesting article. There are a few embedded links worth following. I have bolded them below, but you have to go to the original article at the following link to actually follow thwm

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/116777.html

Antigua vs. Hollywood

Radley Balko | November 16, 2006, 1:20pm

Several weeks ago, I noted on my personal site a nifty little side issue related to the Internet gambling ban. It now looks to be panning out.

While Congress was pushing the gambling ban, which was really aimed at clarifying and strengthening a ban many in the federal government believed already existed, the tiny nation of Antigua was challenging the pre-2006, less clear incarnation of the ban in the WTO. Antigua is home to several Internet gambling companies.

In fact, Antigua had already won. The WTO permits countries to ban goods or services for "moral" reasons, but forbids such prohibitions if they give exemptions to domestic companies to provide the same goods and services. U.S. law -- both before and after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act -- does exactly that. And so the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua.

The U.S. decided to simply ignore the WTO's ruling. That means Antigua will be permitted to retaliate. And because a move like slapping tariffs on U.S. goods will hurt Antiguans more than Americans, the plucky little country is considering a far more potent tactic: Ignoring U.S. copyright law. Imagine Antigua as the one-stop spot for knock-off designer fashions, music dowloads, pirated software, and bootlegged movies. Imagine also the delicious spectacle of Microsoft, Hollywood, and and RIAA doing battle with moral blowhards like Sen. John Kyl and Rep. Bob Goodlatte.

But it may not stop with Antigua. The significant new provision in the UIGA is the deputization financial institutions to block transactions between U.S. customers and gaming websites. Depending on how the Justice and Treasury departments write the regulations, that may include s banning all offshore web payment services like Neteller and Firepay. These companies are direct competitors to the U.S.-based service, Paypal, which long ago buckled to regulators and banned its customers to use the service for gaming (which is why Paypal's parent company, eBay, publicly supported the gambling ban). Neteller and Firepay are both traded on the London Stock Exchange.

If the tiny country of Antigua is proving to give the U.S. a major headache in its quest to enforce moral online habits, imgaine what a challenge from Britain or Canada might do.

Cato trade analyst Sallie James has more a more thorough analysis.
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:56 am

Well this is no surprise. The Internet should be 100% free and unregulated. It's not my fault people are too stupid to not gamble away their life savings in online poker. Bright idea by government; let them go to Vegas and gamble away their life savings the old fashioned way!
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Postby Madison » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:22 pm

Coppermine wrote:The Internet should be 100% free and unregulated.


I'll disagree with that, but it's for reasons totally unrelated to the topic (rape, child porn, pedophiles, etc.) so I'll leave it at that.


Due to the amount of money that internet gambling does, it's not surprising at all to see people fire back at the U.S. Especially seeing as how gambling is legal in the country (in certain states of course). This one seems to have some teeth, which means it actually could get something done. ;-D
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Postby quiksilver » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:11 pm

Coppermine wrote:Bright idea by government; let them go to Vegas and gamble away their life savings the old fashioned way!


Got me wondering which casino mogul (or moguls) paid off the politicians. Online gambling is their biggest threat, it makes sense.
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Postby Madison » Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:27 pm

quiksilver wrote:
Coppermine wrote:Bright idea by government; let them go to Vegas and gamble away their life savings the old fashioned way!


Got me wondering which casino mogul (or moguls) paid off the politicians. Online gambling is their biggest threat, it makes sense.


Actually 60 minutes did a report on this awhile back and all of the large casino chains had their online casinos ready to go as soon as the U. S. made it legal. They fully supported making internet gambling legal. They don't have to comp out drinks, food, hotel rooms, etc, and still get a piece of the market they didn't have before. More money for them on many levels had it been made legal, so they were/are not worried about it at all.
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Postby Snakes Gould » Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:49 am

Coppermine wrote:It's not my fault people are too stupid to not gamble away their life savings in online poker.


ps, its not gambling if you know what you're doing. people are so mad because millions of people were making millions and millions of dollars online playing poker...i myself, cant afford to play at really high stakes online so i havent really made alot of money total, but my profit is ridiculous... playing $10 little sit and go's or .10/.25 cash tables, its very easy to make a few thousand dollars in a short amount of time.
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Postby Madison » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:12 pm

Snakes Gould wrote:
Coppermine wrote:It's not my fault people are too stupid to not gamble away their life savings in online poker.


ps, its not gambling if you know what you're doing. people are so mad because millions of people were making millions and millions of dollars online playing poker...i myself, cant afford to play at really high stakes online so i havent really made alot of money total, but my profit is ridiculous... playing $10 little sit and go's or .10/.25 cash tables, its very easy to make a few thousand dollars in a short amount of time.


I think Cu was referring to the idiots that gamble away their life savings online at actual casinos (slots, blackjack, craps, etc). Not poker rooms. I could be wrong though.
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:15 pm

Madison wrote:
Snakes Gould wrote:
Coppermine wrote:It's not my fault people are too stupid to not gamble away their life savings in online poker.


ps, its not gambling if you know what you're doing. people are so mad because millions of people were making millions and millions of dollars online playing poker...i myself, cant afford to play at really high stakes online so i havent really made alot of money total, but my profit is ridiculous... playing $10 little sit and go's or .10/.25 cash tables, its very easy to make a few thousand dollars in a short amount of time.


I think Cu was referring to the idiots that gamble away their life savings online at actual casinos (slots, blackjack, craps, etc). Not poker rooms. I could be wrong though.


Well, I'm of the opinion that most people suck at poker, no matter how many times you've seen "Rounders." But I agree poker constitutes more of a strategy game vs. other players rather than a game of chance against the house.

It's still gambling though.
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Postby Madison » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:19 pm

Coppermine wrote:
Madison wrote:
Snakes Gould wrote:
Coppermine wrote:It's not my fault people are too stupid to not gamble away their life savings in online poker.


ps, its not gambling if you know what you're doing. people are so mad because millions of people were making millions and millions of dollars online playing poker...i myself, cant afford to play at really high stakes online so i havent really made alot of money total, but my profit is ridiculous... playing $10 little sit and go's or .10/.25 cash tables, its very easy to make a few thousand dollars in a short amount of time.


I think Cu was referring to the idiots that gamble away their life savings online at actual casinos (slots, blackjack, craps, etc). Not poker rooms. I could be wrong though.


Well, I'm of the opinion that most people suck at poker, no matter how many times you've seen "Rounders." But I agree poker constitutes more of a strategy game vs. other players rather than a game of chance against the house.

It's still gambling though.


True, most players have no idea what they are doing. However, poker is most certainly a skill game, and definitely not gambling. I think we've had that discussion before though. :-D

Something to note though, is that is the exact defense Pokerstars and Absolute poker will be using if/when the U.S. Government goes after them for "illegal" online gambling. Pokerstars/Absolute will win, and poker will become exempt from the bill. At least if the government is dumb enough to attempt to do battle with them. :-b
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:23 pm

I'm sorry, everyone must have a different definition of gambling than I do: wagering money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money or material goods. Backgammon is a skill game, but as soon as a player makes a bet on it, it's gambling.

Poker is a game of skill, but you're still betting money on an uncertain outcome. And no matter how good you are, there's always someone better. All because it's a skill game doesn't mean it's not gambling.

Tell it to the minister's son in Connecticut who robbed a bank to pay off $5000 in online poker debts.
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