Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
online gambling



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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  • identicon
    Big Al, 3 Sep 2009 @ 9:36pm

    Meanwhile, WTO sanctions against the US over this ridiculous farce continue...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nick, 4 Sep 2009 @ 5:06am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Roman, 4 Sep 2009 @ 12:25am

    The law was put into place only because income derived from online gambling cannot be monitored and therefore does not generate tax revenue. It is yet another example of how we are not allowed to make money unless the govt gets their cut.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sean T Henry (profile), 4 Sep 2009 @ 6:50am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Kazi, 4 Sep 2009 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re:

        What if they aren't US companies and have no US based operations. Their operations are internet based.

        Your response does not make sense. Not every online gambling company is in the USA. US law can't force companies outside the USA to do something.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 4 Sep 2009 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re:

        > Then if the site does not do so they would be charged with tax
        > evasion and illegally running a gambling establishment.

        How exactly is the US going to charge a web site owner in Belize with tax evasion? Citizens of Belize have no obligation to follow US tax law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JEDIDIAH, 4 Sep 2009 @ 7:36am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kazi, 4 Sep 2009 @ 7:56am

    Remember how China protects its interests with Patent Law? (Recently posted)

    USA is protecting its interests with Gambling Law!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 4 Sep 2009 @ 9:19am

    What!?

    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.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wise one, 5 Sep 2009 @ 2:20pm

      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?

      VRP

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben, 4 Sep 2009 @ 11:33am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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