How The Ban On Online Gambling May Make Us Less Safe

from the protecting-the-ports,-huh? dept

As you may recall, a few weeks ago we better protected our ports by banning online gambling. Unfortunately, however, the culture secretary in the UK is suggesting that the unintended consequences of this move may make Americans a lot less safe. Tessa Jowell compares the situation to what happened in the US in the 1920s with Prohibition. That was another case where politicians tried to outlaw an extremely popular activity (drinking alcohol). Of course, what it did was set up a huge underground organized crime effort. There were speakeasies, illicit alcohol factories and plenty of smuggling from outside the country. It basically allowed the rise of tremendous organized crime operations, some of which still go on today. She points out, at the very least, this should increase incidents of fraud, as people move to less regulated online gambling sites, but the additional side-effects shouldn’t be counted out either. But, since it’s all to protect our ports, it must be okay…

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 “How The Ban On Online Gambling May Make Us Less Safe”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Cixelsid says:

Re: wow...

wow… by PhysicsGuy on Oct 27th, 2006 @ 5:14pm
this is retarded. alcohol is also physically addictive… people want their alcohol a whole lot more than their gambling. it has nothing to do with “popular activity” and more to do with “daddy needs his fix”…

Does this mean gambling isn’t addictive anymore?! OH HELL YEAH!!! C’mon Lady Luck, blow me, DADDY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES!

Also for the record, I’d rather live in Bolivia than the US.

misanthropic humanist says:

I couldn’t work out what it had to do with ports even after reading the link. I had to do more research. What I discovered is that the USA has no credible system of legislative process. This is astonishing for a so called “superpower” nation. It’s as backward as any African tinpot dictatorship with the same potential for corruption. Aren’t Americans supposed to “advanced” and “civillised”? How do they put up with such nonsense?

I think the USA should concentrate on building some semblance of democratic government before worrying about gambling so much.

Ross Ellefson says:

Re: RE: by misanthropic humanist

I used to believe I lived in the best country that gaurenteed liberty. How foolish we are to believe that anymore! We have laws and processes that can turn it around if we wake up now but to believe that just because we are the USA we must be free is foolish. If you are a poker player you know, If you are not a poker player and you allow the country to take their freedoms, then your freedom will be lost next!

Charlie Potatoes (profile) says:

Commerce Clauses

sometime when you have nothing better to do read the commerce clauses in the US Constitution…so long as congress says it somehow involves commerce it has the power to make any law it wishes about anything.
in the 60s congress was advised that it had no authority to ban segregation in the private sector, eg restaurants and hotels, so it went around that little problem of it being unconstitutional by saying that the 1964 civil rights act was to regulate commerce. which it certainly has the authority to do.

Kim says:


Basically the US govt is saying that US citizens can’t be trusted to spend their money the way they want to. It all comes down to the fact that all online gaming sites are non-US companies, and therefore don’t pay taxes in the USA.
But hey, it’s not like US citizens ever spend their hard-earned dollars outside of the US!
You earn the money, shouldn’t you decide how to spend it?

me, myself, and i (user link) says:

for the quoters in here

the easiest way to say it all is with an einstien quote:

“Two thing are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the first”

add this fact to the apparent sub-human IQ level of most politicians, and we’ve got one dandy legal system.

Did you know that a burglar once sued his victim after getting shot (survived) and won? how’s that for messed up?

the US is only a super power because of this fact:
“anywhere, anytime, we can blow the fuck out of you”

but it still makes me wonder about tommorow sometimes

Geren (user link) says:

Re: for the quoters in here

In the instance where the burglar sued his victim and won, an important point came in to play — the burglar was shot in the back while running away, and therefore posed no particular threat to the victim, other than that he had been burgled. If the robber had been shot in the front, he would have been far less likely to have won the case.

misanthropic humanist says:

for the quoters

“the US is only a super power because of this fact:
anywhere, anytime, we can blow the fuck out of you”

Does that make you feel good? Powerful? Validated?

I didn’t think so. Listen it gets worse… The USA is no longer a superpower. Or not for much longer. Those of us old enough to remember the whole cold war know that in fact the USA have an very aged nuclear arsenal. What nobody tells you is that those need replacing soon. But you have no money left, you’re bankrupt and the world is about to call in your debt. That’s why your president gets so uppity about little countries like North Korea having their own bombs. Playing the nuclear game is a high maintainance and constant exercise.

Military strength is not, and never really has been Americas forte. You simply have a lot of money and a lot of very brave, patriotic and poor people who are willing to go and die.

You know, Einstein had a sense of humour, he wasn’t so arrogant.
Most people are smart and sensible when they are led by a good example and feel secure.

What makes a real superpower is industry, minerals, textiles, transportation systems, hospitals, art and literature, fine science and the best engineers. America had all of that but I don’t think you yet realise just how much of it you’ve spunked away.

In summary the two greatest threats to the welfare and security of America right now are your own government and your legal system. You could do a lot worse than to absolutely scrap both and begin to rebuild the USA according to your real vision of peaceful democracy, hard work, rationality and aspiration.

What you’re going to with the psychopaths and how you’re going to dispose of them is the first obstacle.

I believe you should go out and vote this November, it may be your last chance.

Ken says:

It's not like prohabition but maybe similar

Well before we didn’t have online gambling and we do have a few casinos in Chicago close by so it’s not not outlawing it completely. Plus we do have basement gambling etc although i think work gambling is illegal. The law outlaws ‘most’ forms of online gambling.
I still think it’s too much. People can fly to Vegas cheaply if they want that or do local betting like before in the early 90s.

Even though real casinos could slow one down, in terms of loosing your life savings in a few minutes, still the advertising factor of having it online is allot less as you just don’t see the glaring building or ADS can be heavily restricted by the government. Can that work? It seems to work with cigarettes and beer as I don’t see allot of those adverts online. But it should be heavily restricted.
Also we used to have gambling everywhere in the 1800s but then because of the car and all that it became too easy to gamble so we formed sports clubs and basement poker etc.
Maybe online gambling is not that bad, but I think the addiction is between sex and drugs and is still just weird to be gambling on a computer alone in your home. Right?
Let’s think of more solutions
I usually think in a restriction first approach then widdel it down from there; and if it’s not realistic then ban it completely.
Still, I am upset that Clinton seemingly let it run free. Again too extreme in the opposite direction right?

About the Drug War:
I think it’s good, it’s that we just weren’t fighting it by letting a tremendous amount come in over the Mexican border; if the Libertarians can agree to that, it’s pretty obvious then just implementing a social experiment. Putting up a fence is great but bad when you have that many people cut from the economy that quickly and their families without compensation. Bush wanted a so called comprehensive plan but republicans wouldn’t allow it. We need it though.

PhysicsGuy says:


i said physically addictive… gambling isn’t physically addictive… it’s a variable response conditioning system… or something like that, i don’t remember psychology that much… either way, that kind of system is the most effective for conditioning… however it’s still just a psychological addiction, alcohol can be psychologically addictive (less so than gambling) but it is also physically addictive which is worse because the user experiences withdrawal..

Anonymous Coward says:

Addiction, Poker and Golf

Why is gambling always talked about as addicting? It is fun. It is more or less addicting than running or skiing or driving fast, sex, food you name it, it can all be addicting or it can be just plain fun. You hear about the sucker that loses all their money playing poker and day trading. Who talks about the ski bums that have no money and work as waiters just so they can ski. How about golf? Do you know how much money is spent on golf each year?

“Avid golfers make up only 23 percent of the nation’s 26.2 million players, but they account for 63 percent of the $4.5 billion spent annually on golf equipment and the $19.5 billion shelled out in fees.”

“74% of golfers have increased the amount of money they spend on golf over the years, but only 54% have increased the amount set aside for retirement.”

Note someone addicted to Golf is called an “Avid” player. We should outlaw all Golf. More money is lost playing Golf than Poker.

Taylor says:

Hooray for the Native Americans!

At least the Indian Casinos and Vegas will be busier. The addiction is not being eradicated, just changed and – people will find a way to circumvent that online. The prohibition of online gambling isn’t entirely attempting to take gambling out of peoples grasp and move it all underground. So, it isn’t actually prohibition at all. Just get in your car or hop on a plane and gamble away… you don’t have to go in some back alley, underground black market joint. Better yet, just buy more state run lottery tickets…

Bunch says:

Re: Hooray for the Native Americans!

Native ran online casino’s

Can they stop Native Americans from running online casinos? I think not. If I live on a reserve and have an online casino…Let the government try to take it out, lmao, there would be sooo many laws thrown in their faces. If your an online casino, go to a reserve and get one of the Native people to host your million$ site. Heck buy them a computer and give them a 200K salary. Heck email me I will host it for you.
Go talk to a native lawyer and see where the gaming laws for Native Americans start and US citizens end. There are loopholes people…don’t let them take away our poker tables… I believe you will need 75% of the workers in the poker rooms and on the entire site and company to be Native American. If it’s the same way Canada is ran… I’m from Canada (Native American) and I know the laws from there, and they work in both countries about the same. Ive been living in USA for about a year…Heck there’s a law that states, USA can never for no reason kick me out for not having a green card.
Get on it you smart business people and go do the online casino’s run them off of reserves and pay the people for running them for you. Pay them well, finacially and respectfully.
In a few months I will have a poker site up and running. I found the loopholes, you can too if you dig deep enough. I almost feel like the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company..LOL…a bit more info, there are seperate laws for Native Americans owning web sites too…but, that too, is info I know from Canada.

MARKY MARK (user link) says:


Stop online gambling,,, great how about stopping all the sick perverted websites glorifying, advertising,
hard sick porn,, or etc. where sick people post incest , rape , sick sexual video,
or ban tobacco which kills million of people every year
no, worry about some chump who blows his paycheck gambling,, this government is unbelievable!

Lori says:

US Ban on Online gambling

Let me be addicted to what i want to be addicted to, let me live wherever in the world i want to and let me face the consequences of my own actions. Thats what turning 18 is all about. Where is my freedom, in my head only! Id like to live in true freedom the freedom to walk naked down the street, the freedom to spend my last dollar online, the freedom to tell the government to go to hell and the freedom grow pot for that matter. OH MY GOD cant some of us just live in our own ididotic worlds without the Government telling me I cant. Ive lived abroad this country is prison, and corrupt and so far from the human soul its ridiculous, quote your quotes, go to work, pay your mortage, finance cars, go into credit card debt for groceries. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

Lori says:

US ban on online gambling part two

for those of you who will look at my mis-spelling of idiotic…im tired ive been up all night trying to find a way to gamble… sorry! screw this country! Its never made my life any easier…its never given me the opportunity to get an education (well i got one but it cost me over 100K) its never protected my child or my mind or my body or my soul. Its given me nothing but roads to drive on so i can be a rat on wheel so exhausted and looking for a way to make a quick buck so i can go live in MEXICO on the beach!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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 »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...