Online Gambling Crackdown Pushes Super Bowl Bettors… Online

from the circle-of-futility dept

The recent crackdown on online gambling has been pretty silly. Both because of the inherent hypocrisy of the government carving out exceptions for certain types of gambling, like lotteries and horse racing, but also because it won’t stop gambling. Instead, it will just drive gamblers to less honest and regulated venues. The WSJ takes a look at gambling surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl, and says that the online crackdown on legitimate, regulated casinos is sending people eager for a bet back to their local bookies, who ironically are now increasingly using web sites to handle their bookmaking. Again, this would seem to expose the misguided nature of the online crackdown. Instead of regulating and taxing the industry, apparently it’s preferable to drive it underground and lead gamblers into relationships with shady bookies and criminals — who have little incentive to act fairly, or concern themselves with regulation. Furthermore, it’s still difficult to understand why the puritanical streak when it comes to online betting and card games allows for distinctions for other types of gambling. In any case, it’s really hard to see how this crackdown really is beneficial in any way, even from some skewed moral ground, when you consider that it may be reducing one undesirable “crime”, but it’s merely diverting funds to other unlawful and unwanted activities by sending gamblers underground.

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Comments on “Online Gambling Crackdown Pushes Super Bowl Bettors… Online”

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It's pronounced dO-mah says:

Legalize everything

Seriously, this just falls under my philosophy that we should legalize then regulate pretty much everything. It’s a slippery slope, but I guess I’d draw the line at things that cause harm to others…so long as you’re not infringing on someone else’s right to jack around, what’s the big deal. Want to smoke crack? Great, you’ll pay $15 in taxes / rock and we’ll have prettier roads. Why are we spending billions trying to stop the inevitable when we could be making billions regulating it?

Anonymous prevails says:

Re: Legalize everything

Welcome to Libertarianism my friend.

It is the hard honest truth that people will do what they want to do regardless of laws, and it is foolish to criminalize anything that does not do direct harm. Things like guns, drugs, gambling, and other illicit things/activities really should not be held responsible, but rather those people whom are being irresponsible with those things/activities.

Jacco Bot says:

Regulate and Tax it

Regulate it, and then Tax it. You keep control, you get revenue, how dumb are our lawmakers to not see this?

The Netherlands, they regulate and tax prostitution. Now prostitutes and their client pay income and sales tax. Prostitutes are safer, human trafficking has decreased and police has more time to crack down on things that matter.

Making such things illegal only drives it underground, you will never get rid of it, on the contrary. The government tried it with alcohol. Right, that was a brilliant idea, everybody obediently stopped drinking. Would Capone have become such a big criminal had we never had the prohibition? I doubt it.

This whole thing just proves that once you are elected into office, you immediately loose your common sense.

Jeremy says:

Re: Regulate and Tax it

Wasn’t it Holland that legalized everything, and based the entire area around no religion as a test. Legalizing heroine, cocaine, marijuana, prostitution, etc.. Everyone saw it as a disaster just waiting to happen, but that is not the case, as far as I know. I may not hear about it because I live in the states, but i’m sure with the way America tries to police the world if something too awfully bad was going on, we would have troops over there or attempting to force democracy on them.

correct me if i’m wrong, please

Jacco Bot says:

Re: Re: Regulate and Tax it

Holland legalized marijuana only, no other drugs. The effects of marijana were found similar to those of alcohol. yes, you can get addicted, but normal use will not do that. This caused police to be freed up to bust cocaine and herione rings. prostitution is also legal, there is a hookers union and everything. The result of this policy is less crime. The whole idea is that making things illegal doesn’t make it go away, on the contrary. And making things illegal costs money because now you need to police the population to make sure they don’t break the law.
And anyone who says it doesn’t make sense to legalize marijuana: explain to me how it makes sense that a five month old baby can get a gun permit? ( true story )

Bugsy Segal says:


I think you all are missing the big picture. When your ‘local’ guy takes your action, indirectly the government DOES get a piece of that action. In fact, in closing down the offshore casinos this is what they would have you do.

Ever wonder why it’s legal to do anything in Atlantic City – except bet sports? Why could you bet on blackjack or craps, or horses – but not on sports? It’s because sports betting is controlled accross the US by Vegas and the US gov.

Your ‘local’ guy takes action on team A and team B on any given game. Let’s say he gets 10000 on A, and 5000 on B. He assumse no risk and makes $500 on that game no matter what. He just calls a guy up the chain and lays off 5k on team A. This balancing act happens all the way up stream until the actual risk is assumed in vegas by the mob and taxed by the US gov.

By keeping the chain of command controlled from one spot, adjustments can be made efficiently – the spread could be moved, or the refs could be paid off, etc… Whatever it takes. It’s all about money.

Another Cynic says:

Keep it in the Family

It’s all about staying inside the Circle of Trust, or in this case, the circle of tax. Keeping it in the country might not get it regulated or directly taxed, but every dollar in our economy is infinitely taxed as it is passed around. The local bookie will eventually spend his profits on things that get levied local, state, and federal sales tax. Then the business that sold him the products has to report income and that dollar is taxed again. Then, that business pays their employees and they get income tax levied. The cycle continues and everyone is happy. However, that is only if the money stays in the US where eventually, taxes are levied. It is only considered “loss” by some because the first round of tax is missed. However, the guy that lost the money has probably paid tax on it already… and was given that money by a business that paid tax… oh, you get the point, don’t you?

Overcast says:

Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that. I mean what about Fantasy Sports leagues? Many of them wager on their teams.

I think the online gambling laws are a big farce.

I guess the government just wants to keep all those gambling dollars in their own state coffers!

And the only reason Pot is illegal is to keep the Pharmaceutical company’s selling pain killers – hell, if pot was legal, I’d say 25% of pain medication would suddenly become 100% useless.

After all – what’s better a natural painkiller or a chemical cocktail? Just compare the number of deaths on the highways *alone* between Alcohol and Pot – the numbers are *vastly* different. More people die on the roads each year due directly to Alcohol related incidents than in homicides in US cities, and Soldiers in Iraq – COMBINED! – by US Government Statistics.

Let’s add to this the 7,000 deaths per year due directly to drug interaction and/or bad prescriptions of LEGAL pharmaceuticals.

47,000 Per year – Die from either booze or pharmaceuticals. Statistically

According to the FBI: “An estimated 16,692 persons were murdered nationwide in 2005, an increase of 3.4 percent from the 2004 figure.”

Add to that the number of American Deaths in Iraq per year, right around 850, we’ll say 1000 to be sure we’re not under estimating.

17,692 Deaths — Iraq and Murder TOTAL
47,000 Deaths — Alcohol Related and Pharmaceutical

Hmm – Booze and Prescription drugs kill more people each year than Murder and the war in Iraq. Even if we say a 5% increase in Murder per year since 2005, there are still TWICE the number of dead bodies due to Prescription Drugs and Drinking and Driving….

And Pot’s a problem?????? Online Gambling’s a Problem????

Which is more of a problem? Unless the Government’s lying about the statistics, clearly Pot, Gambling, Prostitution, Porn, are all MINOR problems, indeed.

Why are politicians sitting around worrying about online gambling when there are OBVIOUSLY other FAR more severe issues at hand?

Oh…… money..

The number of pot related deaths due to smoking and driving is almost zero – as they can make no direct link to it. But then, it may well just be possible that most pot smokers are able to use better judgment when it comes to mixing recreational use and driving~~ 🙂

Pot is a bit different of an animal though, it’s hard to tax what one could easily grow if it was legal and they know this.

Might I suggest voting for non-incumbents who don’t follow the major party lines? Maybe someone who actually cares?

I’ve heard from the Democrats and Republicans that voting for the third parties is a waisted vote… Oh contraire~~ voting for the same ol’ crap in office is a waisted vote.

Ryan (profile) says:

numbers mean nothing

Overcast, your numbers are surely big, but that’s alll they are: big.

of course more people die of alcohol than pot. There are more alcohol drinkers than pot smokers. There is more alcohol than pot in the country, and alcohol use is more common than pot use. It only stands to reason there will be more alcohol related car crashes.

There’s more legal drug deaths than pot deaths because more people take legal drugs than smoke pot.

If you have 100 red balls and 5 blue balls in a bag.. and you pick out 10 balls.. you’re going to have mostly red balls. It’s just probability.

Your numbers prove nothing.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Is the reason the people don’t grow thier own tobacco perhaps merely impracticality. oTherwise, the country would loose $$$$ in taxes. however, pot has to be grown privately, because it is illegal, and this means that it is not taxed, except very indirectly (the dealer will spend at least some of the money he makes legitimately, and so pay tax)

Denial says:

I hear things like that all the time. There are so many articles about how the government is trying to strangle the casino. But it won’t change anything. You are right, if a person starts to ban something, he will go to another kind of business, such as sports betting. I read on site that such actions only increase the number of people willing to bet and turn to bookmakers.

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