Posted: July 11th, 2006 by Militant Libertarian
Once more, our nannies in Washington have decided that something on the Internet is bad for us. This time it’s online gambling.
Today, the House will be voting on a bill that would ban credit cards and electronic payments for gambling debts. This basically means that online gambling sites cannot bill credit cards or electronically debit checking accounts from their customers – so, in essence, they can’t collect from their clients.
Opponents to the bill say it would be better to regulate and tax the industry rather than try to police the internet. Why isn’t this an option to Mr. Congressman? Well…because almost all online gambling houses are based outside of the United States thanks to our already overly-restrictive laws against gambling. So taxes would be difficult, impossible, or even illegal to collect from those gambling establishments.
So, the Catch-22 is that we’ve created an environment where a business cannot thrive legally inside our nation, plus we have technology that makes that a non-issue, and we obviously have consumers who want the product that business sells (gambling, in this case). So the market has pushed for a solution, in this case those gambling houses are off-shore and operating online so that consumers who want their services can access them. Now the government wants to control online gambling (like they want to control everything else), but the gambling houses aren’t located inside our nation…
So the government proposes going after the banks that facilitate the transfer of money from the consumer to the business.
Wouldn’t want to just eliminate the laws that make it impossible for these businesses to do business inside our borders… No, the moralists who want to force everyone to have their religious morals can’t have that!
Here’s the really interesting bit that shows how these “moralists” and “nannies” are full of shit: there are two exceptions in this proposed legislation to allow horse racing and lotteries to continue legally online.
Now, wait a minute. These same pulpit-pounding nannies are screaming that “online gambling is the crack cocaine of the Internet” and that we have to “do something about this plague affecting our nation,” but at the same time are allowing some forms of gambling to stay…
Seems kind of hypocritical to me.
Once again, we follow the money. Race betting (horses specifically, but also dogs) have a very large lobby in key states, such as Iowa where Jim Leach (one of the sponsors of this bill) is from… Many states have state-run lotteries that supplement their tax income and representatives from those states know it would be political suicide to shut down their state lotteries…
Arizona has a state lottery and their Senator, Jon Kyl, is pushing very hard for this legislation.
Even those who want to force their morals on everyone else, like Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition, say that this legislation is stupid because you can’t have “carve-outs” if you’re going to prohibit gambling.
Of course they can, Mrs. Lafferty. Even during prohibition, some types of alcohol were not prohibited in this country. Our current “War on Drugs” only targets specific types of drugs while ignoring others that are far more harmful to those who take them.
In the end, this is about control and money (both the same thing, really). Our hired nannies in Washington are concerned that their children (that’s us) are going to be hurt by online gambling. They’re also concerned that their precious income (taxes) might be missing a possible source of new revenue if gambling can’t be “controlled.”
Viola, we have anti-online-gambling legislation. Of course, the stuff that’s already benefitting them will be exempted (horses and lotteries).
How about we take a gamble and throw out all those jackasses racing for control of our lives in Washington?? I’d roll those dice.
Got comments? Email me, dammit!
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