Appeals Court Says Nothing Wrong With Law Banning Online Gambling

from the wanna-bet? dept

Back in 2006, as part of an effort to make our sea ports safer, Congress banned financial institutions from accepting money from online gambling sites, effectively outlawing online gambling (no, I don’t understand what that had to do with port safety, but that’s just how Congress rolls, apparently). Since then law has been challenged — but hasn’t had much success. The district court tossed it out saying the bill was perfectly Constitutional, and now an appeals court has said the same thing. The groups fighting the law made two claims, neither of which the court agreed with: first, that the law breached users privacy rights to gamble in their own homes, and second that the law was too vague. It seems likely that this will be appealed yet again, but who knows if the Supreme Court will care. In the meantime, every few months there are stories about Rep. Barney Frank promising to legalize online poker… but they never seem to get anywhere.

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Comments on “Appeals Court Says Nothing Wrong With Law Banning Online Gambling”

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Nick says:

Re: Re:

Actually, if you’re talking about Antigua, the sanctions don’t “continue.” They can start any once Antigua moves to enforce them, but they haven’t yet.

But I absolutely agree. It is definitely illegal for Congress to protect OTB (which is what this law was all about) at the expense of authors and artists who now have lost (once Antigua decides to move on it) the right to be paid for their works abroad. Once Antigua moves, expect a lawsuit against this law of a very different kind than the one mentioned in this post.

Sean T Henry (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“The law was put into place only because income derived from online gambling cannot be monitored and therefore does not generate tax revenue.”

That does not make sense, the same thing could be said about Vegas gambling. All that would have to be done is pass a law stating when any funds are withdrawn from an online gambling taxes (federal) must be deducted from payout. Then if the site does not do so they would be charged with tax evasion and illegally running a gambling establishment.


Actually, Vegas gambling is very tightly regulated. That is something likely sorely missing from the operations on Antigua. However, that is not the point. This law has nothing to do with “protectionism”. It’s a manifestation of the MPD syndrome that America has regarding “vice” in general. This is stuff that isn’t even consistent on a state to state or county by county level in the US. The idea that another country has a cause of action is absurd.

This isn’t lumber or DRAM chips we’re talking about. All attempts to conflate this issue with those involving non-controversial commodities or products is fundementally dishonest.

Glenn says:


You mean there are people who think they have the right to decide what they can do with their own money? …how to live their own lives? Well, shame on them!

(We did it once–prohibition. We can do it again. If it’s going to take a Constitutional amendment to actually enforce our basic human rights, then We The People will do it… or just ignore asinine, fascist laws in the first place.)

Wise one says:

Re: What!?

We the people? There’s been a major cultural change since the prohibition. Most Americans today don’t even know the constitution, let alone most amendments thereto, nor even the English language! And the porch monkeys have multiplied some million-fold it seems, most of who can’t read anything as simple as “see Dick run”. These are today’s American voters. And you expect them to do what?


Ben says:

Weird Laws

Here is the thing though. Let us pretend Congressman A wants a law in place but in order to get it to pass Congressman B has to vote for it. Congressman B, however; doesnt really care about this particular law but instead wants a different law passed, something small but important to B’s career. Suddenly you get a law saving the ports and at the same time preventing online gambling. Completely unrelated topics and a bad law for that but law nevertheless. Not necessarily is that what happened here but it does occur.

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