Online Gambling Not Only Illegal, Now Also Unmentionable

from the creeping-power-of-the-state dept

Apparently, the state of Washington doesn’t feel that classifying online gamblers as felons is draconian enough, as it’s now looking to crack down on internet speech as well. The first victim of the new law is not charged with gambling itself, but of maintaining a website that discussed, reviewed and linked to online gambling sites. So far he has received only a cease and desist and a warning that criminal charges may follow. What’s interesting and telling about enforcement of the law is that the Seattle Times columnist (linked-to above) had no problem with the law until he realized it could be applied to speech as well. But the state’s actions shouldn’t really be much of a surprise, considering the broad trend of various governments looking to limit the right to link as well as advertise objectionable activity, such as gambling. Clearly, the more government regulates online activity, the more derivative activity, such as writing or linking, will be under threat.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Online Gambling Not Only Illegal, Now Also Unmentionable”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
claire rand says:


thats gunna be fun for the big search engines… if there is going to be a *huge* list (and it will grow) of ‘non-items’ and stuff you have to pretend isn’t there.

well at least things would have to be classified accuratly.

btw, can we make it illegal to use popups and other irritating adverts online?

Yet another Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: ha..

Sure, you can make pop-ups and irritating adverts illegal. On a state-by-state or locaty basis, too. One area might considre an advert irritating and another may not. And, it will have no actual effect either. Do we need a giant US firewall system between the servers and the users? Or between each and every system?

So, in WA it is illegal to post a link to a gambling site. Does that only apply if the server is in WA? Or, if you put the link on from a WA based PC? Or, if you called the sysadmin from WA and requested the link?

BTW, I’ve seen this before in TN. They cracked down even on office football pools because the constitution made all gambling illegal. At least until they passed a state lottery.

What kind of gambling are they trying to legalize in WA?

some dude says:

Re: Re: Re: ha..

The sponsor of the law supports gaming by Indian tribes.

That’s the Native American people’s way of getting back at us for stealing their land, giving them crap (with some turkey) in return and then even instating a “We-stole-your-land-now-get-the-hell-out-and-have-some-turkey” day somewhere at the end of November…

me says:

“protecting one part of gambling” reads kind of funny. I think it is more that they want to monopolize the activity. If you want to gamble, you have to take your money to the people that put money in the pockets of elected officials. I am not from washington, but am curious as to what the new laws say in regards to horse betting and fantasy sports online? There are several websites based in the U.S. that offer this from of gambling to the american public.

JimAdkins says:

Re: Filters

I totally agree. Before we know it M$ Vista will have the “U$ Firewall” installed with little buttons on the other end so that politicians can add and remove the content that they think the American public needs to see.

My money, as usual, is on the internet getting around it. They always have, and I believe they always will.

somebody higher up in government than anyone in wa says:

Don't forget who you politicians work for

Don’t forget who you right winged religious politicians work for. It’s okay for you to cheat on your wives with people in your government office, but you’ll spend three months prosecuting and writing up stupid laws about gambling.

I hope everyone finds out all of your dirty little secrets….

Peter says:

Encouraging Illegal Activity is Illegal

I don’t understand whats the case with society nowadays, It seems that everything is permissible. How long is it going to be before someone starts defending websites that review and link to child pornography websites? All in the name of free speech… I believe its time for some discipline.

TJ says:

Blue blue blue

It seems that everything is permissible

No, quite the contrary, this idiotic law .. along with the equally idiotic WA anti-smoking law … only proves that to the contrary, NOTHING is permissible to some but milque-toast. Some people just can’t BEAR to see others minding their own business, doing what they want, and 98% of the time hurting noone. That’s the critical point: hurting noone. Don’t bother trotting out your statistics and studies about gambling. Them with the gold makes the rules.

I *never* gamble. Ever. I’m just tired of endless bluenose “laws”. Discipline? It possible to have online gambling with discipline. This law isn’t about discipline. It’s about strict conformity to what a minority is right. Regardless of what your fellow citizens thing, who were also born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Probably because you yourself have no life, and want to “share”.

How freaking Victorian are we going to get? Gambling is legal enough when it feeds state coffers, isn’t it? How many casinos in WA? How many places that sell lottery tickets? But once the revenue is going out-of-state, suddenly it’s righteousness time?!

This is a great opportunity to see *free speech* used to bring down this knee-jerk law. And keep the internet from becoming the land-of-the-formerly-free the busybodies have made out of meatspace.

Alexander the Great says:

Don't worry guys...

An ancient greek saying goes “The man that does the same mistake twice is not wise”. Each one complaining on any forum should think about who he/she voted for. I have made stupid choices myself but seeing GW getting a second term was something that I could never (I mean ever) think possible…

These things you complain about are common even in the most advanced central african countries, like the Republic of Kongo or Greece for example…

In my country the state made gambling illegal just to be easier for the state owned company to introduce a dozen of new gambling games and lotteries. Now as many people who have a gambling problem lose their money but it’s not a problem anymore cause the state gets the money.

Those who think that this kind of laws are written to protect the people (from themselves??) are obviously naive and most of the times plain stupid…

Barry says:

Get rid of the Washington State politicians who su

Just use your power as a citizen and vote them out. The new ant-gambling on the web law is utter nonsense, and shows how hypocritical our government is. If the governement wants to shut down gambling, it should do so everywhere, including the state-run lotteries. Otherwise, get smart and tax it. All that lost revenue…

Jeff B says:

Washington internet gambling law

Today is June 22 and I was online to read the Washington Bill about internet gambling Senate Bill 6613. While at the State of Washington site two different very interesting ads came up on the page, one about internet gambling casinos and a link to take you there and one about secret information to dominate internet poker games. Both appear to me to be illegal under the new law, both came through the ads by google section, and both were on the Washingtongovernment site in a state that has just made it a felony to transmet such info. At this time I’m glad to be in Oregon but with all the two faced hypocrites in government everywhere who knows how long that will last. Vote out all politicians of any kind that take away your freedoms. Work for term limits. Work for public financing of campaigns. Make politicians responsibles for their votes. Cheers.

Dan says:

Nothing to do with morality

This law has nothing to do with morality. It has nothing to do with the state trying to legislate morality. People who are saying that are obviously trying to push their own agenda. Or, they themselves have been duped into believing this is a faith based initiative.

This has everything to do with the state trying to protect their cash flow, into Indian casino’s and the state lottery (the state approved gambling method).

I agree with the majority of this board that this law is hypocritical, impossible to enforce, and that it trounces on free speach rights. I also believe that it will eventually be overturned and written off as a dumb idea.

Please leave the religious right out of this one. They take a HUGE beating for a lot of the stupid stuff that they really ARE responsible for.

luminouscarl (user link) says:

Gambling Crackdown

Internet gambling has posed an unusually difficult enforcement problem. Gambling purveyors have been able to locate in Latin America or the Caribbean and avoid the long arm of the law. They have also found that they can avoid regulation or fair gambling practices in these locations. Many internet gambling sights are fraudulant. If one wants to stop this fleecing of the American publiic you are left with two choices. Draconian enforcment measurements aimed at those located in your jurisdiction (gamblers and promoters) or just legalize it and regulate the casinos in your jurisdiction. For inside information on this topic read my blog about working in an offshore internet casino.

Bill Monroe says:

I-Gaming debacle

For the best article on this subject, read “Unintended Consequences of a Monetary Control Scheme” by a U.S. lawyer and gambling writer named Mark Schopper, who wrote the book on Internet Gambling. The article is available on the Internet for free, just search for it by its title. He predicted this would happen in 2001, and the genius of his article is he also predicted the consequences, which will be devastating to the banking system because of e-cash, which money launderers will love. The U.S. Government is so ill informed it is scarry.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »