Net Gambling Bill Will Make Money Laundering Easier

from the collateral-damage dept

When passing laws that stop something, politicians rarely seem to think about what other consequences their law making will have. A report on MSNBC suggests that the latest efforts to ban online gambling in the US will have consequences that may make things much worse. Instead of just regulating the industry and making sure everything is legitimately done by credit cards, less than scrupulous forms of digital cash will step in to fill the void. Many casinos are apparently working on their own offshore, digital cash system, which they’ll launch if the US blocks them out. Of course, the article makes it sound like any sort of “anonymous” payment mechanism is only used for nefarious purposes, apparently forgetting that cold, hard cash is quite anonymous and is still (last I checked) legal tender. However, the point does stand. Outlawing the use of credit cards and other payment systems for online gambling will do nothing to stop people from gambling online. All it will do is make it more likely that they’re giving their money to less-than-trustworthy organizations.

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Comments on “Net Gambling Bill Will Make Money Laundering Easier”

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Steve Snyder says:

True but

For the most part, I agree. It seems like lawmakers seldom look for the other implications of the laws they make–unless of course the further implications just the real reason for the law onlin in disguise. (that was kinda awkward to say but I don’t have time to edit now)

It seems a little confusing, however whether this will be such a big deal or not. The article says that there’s been a “near-total ban on the use of U.S.-issued credit cards for Internet gambling.” Apparently almost all the credit card companies won’t let you do this anyway–and if that’s the case, what’s the effect of making it required instead of voluntary if 99% are already stopping this. I can understand Visa & MC banning this for financial reasons–people who gamble on their credit cards are probably a lot more likely to amass huge debt (which they like) and ultimately default(which they don’t).

The other issue is that at least in my state, you can’t use a credit card for gambling anyway (at least for purchasing lottery tickets, I’m not sure about casino gambling) so why should the internet be different. This is probably one of those issues to try and protect people from themselves, because if gambling is an addiction, then using credit cards to gamble is the quickest way to get a lot of people into debt in record time. And society ends up footing the tab when they go on welfare or commit a crime for more money to gamble and end up in jail.

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