In Order To Protect Our Troops, We Must Ban Online Gambling

from the see-the-logic? dept

It's well known that there are a group of politicians pushing to ban all kinds of online gambling (other than the kinds they like, such as lotteries and horse racing). Senator Bill Frist has been among those leading the charge for such legislation. However, it's become pretty clear that there's not nearly enough political support to get the bill through. So what does a good politician do? He tries to tack it on to a military appropriations bill, because no one wants to vote against "funding the troops." Sure, it's a politics-as-usual type of move, but why is it that no one ever asks these politicians what online gambling has to do with protecting our troops?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    me, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:55am

    Odds

    I'll give you 5 to 3 against it passing.

     

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  2.  
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    larryk, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:05am

    Why is it that no one ever asks these politicians what online gambling has to do with protecting our troops?

    Why bother. You wouldn't get an honest answer.

    A long time ago, when I was very young, Republicans actually opposed "big government." They still make the same claims, but now they actually like big government. Well, not for corporations, just for real people.

    Judge politicians by their deeds, not their words.

     

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  3.  
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    Lay Person, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:18am

    Re: #2

    Judge politicians by their lack of politicizing...

     

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  4.  
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    Jeremy, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:38am

    silly idea

    I've been kicking around the idea of starting my own political party. I was going to call it "The Middle Half" party. The premise being that 50% of the electorate are card-carrying Republicans or Democrats (25% each, probably less but Middle 2/3rds just isn't catchy). Then there is the other half (The Middle Half) of us who don't agree with the extremes of either party.

    And some of the first issues that I would propose if I were elected (hee hee) are the following:

    1) Tie Congressional pay raises to minimum wage.
    2) All bills must be single issue bills. (meaning you couldn't attach gambling provisions to a military appropriations bills or blueberry festival funding in South Carolina to transportation bills or dam repair work to Homeland Security bills. Then you would be able to see exactly what your congressperson actually voted for.
    3) To fix Social Security eliminate the Congressional Pension plan and switch all of Congress onto Social Security. Watch how fast it would get fixed.

    I might throw eliminating the Electoral College and simplifying personal taxation (not flat tax, still graduated taxation but simpler maybe eliminate taxation below $20K a year for the poorest citizens). I still have to think about these though.

    Maybe I'm just crazy and should go back to playing poker (not for money) with Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura

     

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  5.  
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    meme, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:45am

    Works for me

    It seems that most everyone on techdirt defends online gambling. But I submit this: When you send american money outside of the country to these sites where does the money go? I don't think anyone can prove that some of these funds do not find their way into the hands of people who would like to do harm to the US or our allies. So I feel that was an appropriate bill to tack it to.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    Personally, I think there's a REAL easy way to cut the federal/state/local budgets.

    GET RID OF THEM. Let's face it...the US developed a representational form of government because it was so difficult for everyone to effectively communicate and make decisions because of the size of the country and limitations in the technology. That's no loner the case.

    I say we take just one political bribe and re-allocate it to buying everyone in the country that doesn't have a computer a device. Then make a website that can list all of the current issues and put a deadline on it for voting. Then you get a TRUE democracy.

    But alas...this idea will NEVER work. The groups that are in the minority won't be able to bribe politicians to force the majority to bend to their will...so the politicians will never allow it.

     

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  7.  
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    Darryl, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    "prohibit people from using credit cards to settle Internet gambling debts."

    Not really 'banning online gambling, is it?

     

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  8.  
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    Online Playa, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:53am

    Re: Works for me

    Well meme....when you send money to play online poker and I WIN IT :) it goes to this honest taxpaying American!!! Just so you know you dolt, I clear about 3k a month playing online poker and I claim every sent on my tax forms! (don't want to get into trouble for tax evasion) So this Last year I paid in over 6K to the Fed Gov. in my tax bill! And since I am a tax paying citizen I do beleive it is my right to gamble online.

     

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  9.  
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    Comboman, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:56am

    Re: Works for me

    It seems that most everyone on techdirt defends online gambling. But I submit this: When you send american money outside of the country to these sites where does the money go? I don't think anyone can prove that some of these funds do not find their way into the hands of people who would like to do harm to the US or our allies.

    When you spend american money at Walmart to buy cheap, made-in-china junk, where does the money go? I don't think anyone can prove that some of these funds do not find their way into the hands of people who would like to do harm to the US or our allies. The answer is simple: We must ban Walmart to protect our troops.

     

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  10.  
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    Haywood, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:58am

    Re: silly idea

    I like most of your platform. I have reservations about eliminating the Electoral College, as it still does what it was intended to do: protect low population states like Montana from being lost in the shuffle.

     

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  11.  
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    ®idiculous ©rap, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:59am

    Re: why is it that no one ever asks

    Because, as you said, 'no one wants to vote against funding the troops'. That's it. It's all about the sound bite and the name, rather than the substance of the bill and the particular details. It's called pork and every bill has tons of unrelated "riders" added to it. The poloticians don't question it, because that's how bills get passed.

    No politician also wants to vote AGAINST healthy forests; or vote FOR leaving children behind. Even a vote AGAINST a controversial bill like the USA-PATRIOT Act sounds unpatriotic, 'he voted 4 times against funding counterterrorism!'

     

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  12.  
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    Drkkgt, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:24am

    Re: silly idea

    Don't know about tying it to minimum wage since increases can sometimes hurt smaller businesses. Personally, I think they should get an average joe salary without increase because it is supposed to be about serving your people. make it closer to an E7 in the military and maybe give raises equal to the military and then I will go for it.

    As for meme and your rant about where the money goes? Same place it always goes, around the world and back again no matter what you buy. Heck, even if it goes to the big companies exec salaries they then buy all those foreign sports cars......

     

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  13.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:45am

    Just plain unfair...

    And this is why I dont like politics. Unfair stuff like this. Any idiot can plainly tell that this was tacked on to military apporpriations becuase, "What are they gonna do, deny funding to our troops?" (I'll bet that is literally what someone said). I'd like to see a provision put in place that says that you can only tack one bill on to another if you can give a reasonable explanation of how they are related.

     

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  14.  
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    Wow, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:46am

    Re: Works for me

    Perhaps if it were legal to gamble in the US, gamblers would not be sending money outside our borders in order to do it. There would be many shops set up here that we could indulge our gambling pleasures.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:52am

    Oh god..

    Frist has really lost his marbles now. What a buncha twisted, idiotic logic...

    He really has a brain? Is he sure the ol' Wizard didn't rip him off when he asked for his brain?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jason, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Democracy does not equal freedom. We are a Republic, not a Democracy.

    Besides, True Democracy is the equivilent of 2 wolves and a sheep arguing over what to have for dinner.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Tad, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Works for me

    How about we stop forcing legitimate businesses to go overseas? Then that money you are so worried about won't be falling into foreign hands.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    James, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 12:02pm

    The holier than though..

    ...a-holes have got to go. This bs of preaching from the elected office trying to pass laws that "protect us from ourselves", like laws against online gambling and gay marriage, are crap, presented by crap politicians who refuse to address real issues in this country in a simple attempt to get elected by playng on moral delusions or prejudice.

     

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  19.  
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    Danno, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Works for me

    To Number 5: Stop putting fuel in your car if you're worried about American money going to support terror.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Works for me

    #6:

    I have a better proposition to protect the homeland:

    Get rid of Bush and his henchmen.

     

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  21.  
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    Lay Person, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: silly idea

    They should just pay all the jobs at the capitol whatever they pay us for jury duty:)

     

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  22.  
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    Any-non-mouse, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:30pm

    Jeremy, as one of the few people who thought Perot would have made a great president, you've got my vote for your party. :)

    Frist may be a weenie, but he's just playing the game by the "usual" rules. The common man can't dictate policy to the policy makers, but we can take action by protesting and voting out those who condone dirty politics.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Works for me

    yet another sucker fallen victim to the GW fear machine. fools. educate yourselves (means stop listening to your american crap news bs and take a global perspective).

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Stu, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    Speaking of Frist

    FROM THE KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL (online edition)
    ----------------------
    FRIST LAUDS GITMO'S STATE
    September 13, 2006

    WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Tuesday his recent trip to the Guantanamo Bay detainee camp showed excellent prison conditions, including "24/7 medical care - better than many Americans" get.
    -----------------------
    He's probably right!!

    Thnk about that for a minute - from different directions. Any way I look at it it's pretty sad.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Sven, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: silly idea

    With this age of rapid transportation, there is no reason to pay these guys in Washington anything. They're paid because they used to have to leave their farms, and businesses to go serve. I say we pay for their travel to and from their home every so often and let them work around their own schedule - no more full time career politicians. After all - if they only "work" in Washington every other weekend, that's a LOT less time to goof off. Maybe they'll have less time to pass stupid laws and they'll only do what needs doing.

    And if they want to be paid, let them earn it. Work 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year like the rest of us. No more 4-6 week vacations multiple times a year. If they don't have a farm to tend, they don't need to go home for the planting and the harvest anyways.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    meme, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Works for me

    You online gambling supporters need to educate yourselves. And if not that, quit expecting us to continue to support your sites. These sites are unregulated and are perfectly able to manipulate the outcome of all games. In Nevada the prisons are full of ex- gambling industry employees that attempted to manipulate the outcome of electronic gaming devices by as little as 0.1%. That small tilt in favor of the house could easily generates millions in manipulated income.

    Outside of the US these clowns have no-one watching, which makes this behaviour to lucrative to pass. They are able to pick and choose who wins. People who deposit are greeted to hours of winning followed by the instant crash. Gambling addicts are quick to add more and more funds to keep the high. Some never receive there winnings. Nearly all of these sites delay payment of winnings for days which causes the gambling addict to eventually withdrawl his request for a cashout to continue play, this is followed by more manipulation of outcome which is tailored to extract more and more money from the players.

    I have posted quite a few replies to these gambling threads, and I am always greeted by some AH who claims I cannot play poker, and thats how I came to this opinion. Well I can and am good at it, but playing these sites with "players" who are completely anonymous, and possibly computer generated, and if not, possibly in collusion with friends at the table via phone, could and probably do increase the take for the house. These Costa Rican Billionaires are all eventually going to find their way in to a prison cell.

    I live in Texas and gamble in Louisianna, and when I play in a brick and mortar, regulated casino, I am protected by fraud by a pit boss and my ability to read the players. Also when I win I can go to a cage, collect my winnings and go home.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    meme, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Works for me

    I say the gambling sites have a batallion of online PR posters who feel the same way you do. If I were to play against you in an online poker room, I am sure that you and your buddy(s) could easily "win" against me. On the other hand, if you were brave enough to sit across a real table from me, and call my all in, you would leave broke and embarrased.

    Now my point: Without any legal regulation, how do you know this is not actually happening in online poker rooms? You don't, and the possibility of that alone should be enough to convince the smart gambler that sending ANY funds to these wimps in hiding, is completely insane.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    meme, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Works for me

    Do you live in the US? I am curious because the only place I can think of where a US citizen can't find a casino to legally gamble at within a few beer drive is Hawaii!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 11:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Works for me

    Does not apply. Those are US consmer-respected companies. I highly doubt that Ford or Walmart is financing terrorists. I have serious doubts about gambling sites that flourish on the illegal extraction of funds from the sites, due primariy to complete lack of enforceable supervision by US authorities, or any authority for that matter.

    If Osama Bin Laden himself wanted to, he could easily facilatate the opening of an online gambling venture, take hard earned money from silly Americans with no clue, then take that same money and finance an attact to kill the very same person who gave him the money.

    I am not saying this is happening, but it is possible. That is enough for me.

     

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  30.  
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    meme, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 1:26am

    Re: The holier than though..

    I think Americans are blessed by laws that protect them from these types of idiocy. Unfortunately many US citizens are not sharp enough because of age or just plain outright stupidity to realize the are being robbed by criminals. Ultimately someone has to step in and bail these consumers out from falling in a foreign-set trap, whether it be from a family member, government assistance, or free healthcare for people who are now homeless, destitute and on the verge of suicide.

    Gambling is bad enough for some as it is in a regulated state, let alone from an entity in a land far away. I call on ANY online casino representative to defend anything I have charged against them in this thread. That won't happen. They are perfectly happy sitting back and watching there fortunes increase by thousands of dollars a second until the cash cows die. Scumbags of the Earth.

     

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  31.  
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    Tek'a, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 2:16am

    taxes

    lotta folk talk about how online gambling is totally unsafe and foolish.. and they are right. to a degree.

    I bet if you took the ol' wayback machine back a few years, you could find a time where brick and mortar gambling places.. you know. casinos.. lacked all these wonderful state and federal security features. house always wins, honest joe goes home broke.

    now.. its a legalized, highly regulated and highly Taxed business. now, if gub'ment had simply said "no gambling, ever, for anyone, because its not safe" there would still be gambling, only now we could continue to be certain that lady luck had nothing to do with it.

    skip forward to today. US Could have Embraced online gambling. a few laws, some nice regulations about having servers open for inspection from the appropriate body and based in the US, and honest joe can play a few rounds of poker or whatever from his home. end result is protected citizens (as much as possible) being able to play Legally, and nice shiny taxes.

    would that close down all the overseas shady places? of course not. but having the Option of a regulated environment will draw the custumers. its like being able to choose between playing poker in the back room of Bobs Bar (and getting knifed if your winning too much) and visiting a nice casino (sans the free drinks)

    a blanket "its illegal" is exactly that. a blanket pulled over gub'ments eyes, so they can announce that they dont see any problems, and everything is working A-Ok!

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    claire rand, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 3:08am

    uk v us

    didn't they try a prohibition in the 1920's?

    and as for governemtns and priorites.. our bunch of meppets spent ages arguing over hunting foxes.. nice to know nothing more important needed attention at that time.

    but then you only have to look at our deputy PM to see why our system is a joke.

    (though i reckon our deputy PM v your VP in a fist fight would be a good way to settle stuff, well entertaining at least)

    how many of your politico's actually read the bills they pass, let alone understand them? if its like people here not many i'd bet.

    while ever they are governed by the tabloid headlines the day after you can forget common sense.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Online Playa, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 1:40pm

    meme you are an IDIOT!

    I'll play you heads up online in person anytime anywhere!


    Have you been to Ultimatebet.com, pokerstars.com, etc....????

    Im sure Phil Helmuth and other POKER PROFESSIONALS would endorse a corrupt poker site?

    Beside you F'N moron go read the fine print most of these site are regulated, just not by the American Government

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Simon, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Works for me

    So don't play.

    The online sites have no need to cheat. Think about it: they make money from the rake. The table I'm playing right now, the site makes $1 from the rake no matter what happens (I'm on a 50c buy-in table). Doesn't matter who wins, they make their money.

    Collusion is a different matter, but that means that the colluding players win money from the others - again, the house doesn't benefit.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Simon, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 6:54pm

    And as a general comment...

    I can't understand why this sort of thing can happen in the USA. How can politicians get away with adding un-related clauses to Bills? Why are they alllowed to do this?

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    MikeB, Oct 9th, 2006 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Works for me

    For that matter... don't buy gasoline. Come on man, 888 and PartyPoker are British based companies... are they not? Some money is going to make its way back to terrorist organizations no matter what. Let the people make their own choices.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Missy North, Oct 13th, 2006 @ 10:34pm

    Works for me

    It's my money, I pay my bills and taxes, any left over, I sometimes like to play a poker game once in a while. It's not my problem if some people gamble away money they dont have and it's not my business to tell them they cant gamble away money they dont have.

    Where does the " house " money go?? I dont know.
    Where does any of your money go???
    When you buy gas at Citgo, a Brazillian Co. where does that money go? When Walmart hires a forienger, where does he/she's paycheck go? When you go on vacation outside the country and pay for dinner, where does that money go?

    If you're going to sit and worry about where every cent you spend is going to you should lock yourself in your house, and do nothing. No TV, who knows where every cent from all the money tied up in TV is going. Dont read that book... where was printed, where did the paper come from. Dont eat those carrots... where were they grown, who packaged them.

    Money goes round and round no matter where you spend it. Passing a bill making illegal to play in a $5.00 poker tourney is just silly another way for government to wiggle more and more into our private lives.

    Government is not a business
    Downsize Goverment and give the power back to the people. Vote Libertarian!

     

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