Congress Too Busy Gambling With Your Money To Let You Gamble With It Yourself

from the politics-as-usual dept

We had noted recently that Congress appeared to be moving forward with a bill that would actually re-legalize playing online poker. However, reports coming out now suggest that with Congress so busy passing pork-filled bailout bills, the online poker bill has been shifted to the backburner and will probably have to wait until next year. So, you know, if you were planning to survive this economic tough time by making it up playing online poker, you may want to consider moving to, say, Antigua.

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Comments on “Congress Too Busy Gambling With Your Money To Let You Gamble With It Yourself”

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Steve Wynn says:

It’s really amazing how certain types of gambling are illegal, and other aren’t. Gambling on the price of gasoline or corn or soybeans (Futures options) is perfectly legal, and is definitely gambling. Rich individuals can call their “bookie” and have them buy and sell stock for them, which is also gambling. You’re betting the price will go up (or down, if you’re shorting it), and the broker (bookie) gets his percentage (the “vig” or “juice”) whether you win or lose. Criminals, such as Steve Jobs, use inside information and illegally backdated options to turn a profit they’re not legally entitled to (fixing the game). Yet if you go online to put money on the outcome of this weekend’s football game, you’re breaking the law.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re:

It is not the same at all. Gambling is, by definition, putting money on a game of chance.

Investment requires far more skill and knowledge than playing it all on black. Except in the worst economic times, a quality, well-distributed portfolio is nearly certain to grow, which is good for the investor. The company has the investor’s money to work with in operating and expanding the company, which is good for them. Responsible investment is win-win, where gambling is ALWAYS win-lose. Also, investment temporarily transports money to an entity that uses it to produce a good or service. If they are successful, they can actually grow the economy as a whole. Gambling, on the other hand, is a random transferring of money with no net gain for the economy.

Now, as to why horse racing is legal, but poker isn’t, I can’t answer. Well, I know why, but I can’t see a legitimate justification.

eddie getz (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

hegemon13, i think the definition you gave in post #7 (gambling is ‘putting money on a game of chance’) is far too narrow. where did you get this definition from? there is much more to ‘gambling’, by definition, see merriam-webster online, or another resource that is in the business of defining.

you also say that gambling would be the random transferring of money with no net gain for the economy. i’m not sure how you can say this. jobs and taxes are two crucial parts of our economy. these jobs would include many roles, like managers, accountants, information technology personnel, as well as all the other jobs associated with casinos.

i think legalized gambling would even serve a much larger good — it would get people to really think and talk about money much more regularly, not just once every 20 or 30 years when things tank.

unfortunately i think i’m about a week late for this discussion though. bets of luck everyone, hopefully we see the law overturned next year.

? says:

Re: Would this be a good idea at the time?

So you are complaining that gray market poker sites are not playing fair? When was the last time you heard any of the large chain casinos scamming their customers on their machines? Been quite a while, might have something to do with them having a legitimate business that is highly regulated.

Howard_NYC says:

Q: difference between a horse race and stock market?

Q: ever wonder what the difference between a horse race and the stock market?

A: 8,000 horses vs. 8 horses

A: when you bet on the stockmarket, the bookies own the best horses

A: the race track’s running conditions vary between mud and dust… whereas the stockmarket it is always mud

A: what the horses drop behind ’em has value as rose food

A: if you are still reading this, you’re as clueless as the rest of us

Jeff (profile) says:

Chance vs Skill

Let me start by saying, I am from Washington state, where it is a class c felony to gamble online, except off-track betting. Interestingly enough, the definition that is given to what constitutes gabling is “a game of chance”.

Let’s look at a few activities mentioned.

Lottery – Game of chance. There is no reliable method fo improving your odds. Counting number of times a number hits (or doesn’t) and the overall frequency is the same stategy used by roulette players.

Horse Racing – Game of chance tempered with a bit of knowledge. You can help yourself by looking at the horse (and jockey) overall performance, buut there are too many unknowns to dismiss it as chance.

Stock Market – A bit of both. If you are connected to the right data and you are able to predict certain precursors that will create an upswing, then you have an edge. However, you will not always be right.

Poker – I would estimate about a 60/40 skill/luck split. There is quite a bit of skill in playing poker. Forget what you see on TV, as that is maybe a tenth of the actual hands played. There is psychology and math (including statistics and probability) involved to be a successful poker player. Sure, there is luck. Unfortunately, that is a lot of what people see on TV. They see the suck-outs, the monster flops, etc. What they don’t see is the building a reputation to allow the players to push people off pots or make hugely successful bluffs.

One that wasn’t mentioned was Blackjack.

Blackjack, if played right (without counting cards) is a game of chance. Slightly in the favor of the house I might add. But, even then it is not a game of chance purely.

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