Put It All On Black. Or No Wait, Forget I Said That!


New at Reason: Should you be thrown in the clink if you tell somebody about online gambling? Jacob Sullum doubles down on the DOJ's new definitions of thoughtcrime.

NEXT: Psst. Afghan Warlord. Not Happy.

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  1. Sullum’s article discusses Antigua and Barbuda’s WTO case against the U.S. ban on Internet gambling. I read the U.S. Trade Representative’s brief in support of the ban (you can download the brief’s executive summary at http://voluntarytrade.org/downloads/20031114gamblingexecfirstwritten.pdf), and the arguments were laughable. The USTR argues that gambling is a danger to children and public health, and that it can only be permitted in certain locations under strict government supervision. I hope the Antiguans introduced as evidence copies of the advertising state governments run for the lottery. After all, how often does the government promote something they’ve declared to be dangerous?

  2. These companies have surrendered their First Amendment rights without a fight, allowing the government to silence speech it doesn’t like by floating a legal theory that almost certainly would fail if it were tested in court. Their capitulation illustrates the chilling effect of vague laws in the hands of ambitious prosecutors.

    Right, Jacob. And I noticed that the hyperlinks to http://www.888.com and http://www.betonsports.com lead nowhere. Hedging your bets in case the Feds ARE watching?

  3. The faulty links are my fault. They should be fixed shortly.

  4. I had nothing against online gambling until the Golden Palace Casino hijacked my computer the other night. Took me about an hour to regain control of the computer and delete about 10MB of code that had been surreptitiously installed on it. Firewalls are becoming as necessary as browsers… 🙁

  5. Google said they wanted to “ensure we provide the best search experience for our users and advertisers.” Must have been all those people complaining that they searched for gambling sites and actually found some.

    Here’s my own contribution to Internet crime (found by searching Alta Vista):


  6. I read the linked column about how computer guys who go to foreign countries and help set up their operations might be brreaking the law. Does it then follow that, say, an interior decorator in the US could be arrested if she goes overseas and decorates an Amsterdam brothel or marijuana shop?

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