Internet Gambling Redux (Freedom of Speech Edition)

|

Jacob Sullum's great new col is about the disturbing arrest of BetOnSports CEO David Carruthers, who was arrested on U.S. soil despite operating a business that is totally legal in his home country.

Here's more Internet-gambling-related news, and it too is disturbing. From Walter Williams' syndicated col, a shout-out against pending congressional legislation:

The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act gives Congress the authority to go to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and order that they not provide linkages to online gambling establishments. If you think Congress will be satisfied with restrictions only on gambling establishments, you're going to be disappointed. After all, the Internet provides people with access to other establishments that can be said to "cause innumerable problems in our society." There are various hate groups with Internet sites that spew vile propaganda. There are pornographic sites. There are sites that present political ideas or religious fanaticism that are offensive to many people and can "cause innumerable problems in our society."

If the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is approved, it will become a precedent for congressional control over other aspects of the Internet and an important loss in our liberty.

Whole thing here.

Reason checked out online gambling back in 1999 (and hey, I personally took home $170, far better than I ever managed in good ol' Atlantic City).

More recently, in May 2006, Reason pondered "How Legalized Gambling Went from the Strip to Main Street."

Advertisement

NEXT: Saddam: Shoot Me Later

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well, at least they can’t take the sky from me…or couldn’t, if I had a space ship.

  2. I assume this means all the state lotteries will have to take down their websites?

  3. I thought we needed the government to protect our internet from the evil service providers who would censor content. Now the state wants them to censor? I am so confused.

    At least we can wear our brown coats, Timothy.

  4. This is about money plain and simple. When the states open casinos they can rake in tax dollars which they will of course use “for the children” as mom and dad gamble away junior’s college fund at the local casino. The states can’t tax internet casinos, so thus children suffer.

    The way these clowns have completly sold out to the gambling industry is just amazing. The big gambling companies don’t want the competition from the internet, so they reach into their wallets and pull out the Congressman they have purchased and use them to squash internet gambling. Disgraceful.

  5. We should bring back the Sons of Liberty. I’m not suggesting a revolt but another more psychological strategy. Members would dress in Revolutionary Era garb (tricorn hats, etc.) and follow elected politicians and high-level appointed officials around. All of the time. Not to see what they were doing or anything, just to stand and stare at them. And maybe to occasionally wag their fingers, “no, no, no” after certain unconstitutional actions by the shadowed official.

    Women are, of course, eligible–I just like the historicity of the name. Of course, to effectively tail all of these people, we’d need a big budget. No new server for Reason I guess 🙁

  6. I want to be Molly Pitcher.

    No, not really. But I want a big pewter pitcher, so I can carry it around with me and whomp politicians over the head whenever they say anything stupid.

  7. Jennifer–

    Better start working out. Your arm’s gonna get tired.

  8. Chuck, you’d be surprised how much adrenaline I can generate when offered the opportunity to whomp stupid politicians with pewter pitchers. My right bicep would eventually swell up to the size of a watermelon from the exercise but I wouldn’t even notice, because I’d be too busy shouting “There’s the twit who said the Internet is a series of tubes! WHOMP! There’s the guy who said 9-11 happened because I got stoned on 9-10! WHOMP! There’s the jackass who said women are too demure to do anything but stay home and raise babies! Come arm-wrestle me and my watermelon-sized bicep, you jackass! WHOMP! WHOMP! WHOMP!”

  9. Great! There’s one recruit already. And she can probably bring along her significant other 🙂

    The oppression of the political class in this country will soon begin in earnest. Next week’s project–dumping subsidized sugar into Boston Harbor. While dressed as Injuns.

    Oh, Jennifer, your title will be Director of Pewter Power. What will be engraved on your Pitcher of Punishment?

  10. Jennifer- Film the whomping. I’ll totally buy the DVD.

  11. Tom Coburn just said that nothing positivie ever comes from having sex outside of marriage!!! WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP oh, crap, my pitcher broke. Who knew pewter was softer than Coburn’s head?

  12. Pitcher Girls Gone Wild

    The bashing never stops in this DVD of hot legislative-bashing action!

  13. Speaking of Girls Gone Wild, I wonder when Smakcy will have the pictures taken of us in NYC last Saturday?

  14. “Positivie?” “Smakcy?” Why am I making so many typos today? I blame the heat. I moved North to get AWAY from this kind of weather, dammit!

  15. “The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act gives Congress the authority to go to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and order that they not provide linkages to online gambling establishments.”

    Wouldn’t this be a violation of ‘net neutrality?

    Oh, wait, I forgot. The laws don’t apply to the ones making them.

  16. God bless the USA: making the internets safe for buying cheap crap, and only buying cheap crap. This is American’s family-friendly golden age, and no more shall we be burdened with the internets’ bombardment of information and sin. This is truly a war on the world wide web of anti-christs and gambloterrorists!

  17. “Positivie?” “Smakcy?” Why am I making so many typos today?

    Comment by: Jennifer at July 26, 2006 10:40 AM

    because I got stoned on 9-10!

    Comment by: Jennifer at July 26, 2006 10:11 AM

    Ouch! What’s with the whomping?

  18. I will whomp you back to the stone age, Lunchstealer.

  19. Hate to go against the Chicken Little paradigm here, but this is hardly a precedent for censoring speech on the Net. There’s a big difference between blocking sites that involve activities that would be illegal to do face-to-face (eg, gambling), and blocking sites that provide material that would be legal to distribute face-to-face (hate speech, pornography, etc).

  20. Crimethink, the problem is that we’re extending American law to the entire rest of the world. What’s next–letting the Saudis arrest American porn-site owners if their websites can be accessed from within the kingdom?

  21. I don’t suppose that some bright web entrepreneur is going to realize the benefit of opening up proxy servers around the world to allow people to access these gambling sites (or any other site) anyway? Unless the government wants to then make it illegal to use a proxy server…

    (second attempt)

  22. Jennifer,

    I think we’re talking about two separate things. I’m talking about the govt’s attempt to force ISPs to block gambling sites.

    Yes, I agree that the arrest of that Brititsh guy was beyond the pale, but that’s a very different issue, one of jurisdiction. It has nothing to do with blocking gambling sites.

  23. I assume this means all the state lotteries will have to take down their websites?

    Lotteries and Horse Racing are exempt. Yes, you can still bet your entire life’s savings on a horse.

  24. There’s a big difference between blocking sites that involve activities that would be illegal to do face-to-face (eg, gambling

    But gambling isn’t illegal to do face-to-face.

  25. Say, why doesn’t Congress just make everything illegal unless expressly authorized by federal law? That would make my job a lot easier. While they’re at it, why not claim the entire planet as U.S. territory? That would cut down on the paperwork, I think.

  26. Pro L,

    I’m not giving Congress carte blanche here. IMO, this is one of the few areas where they’re acting within their constitutional limits, which include the power to regulate interstate and international commerce.

    If you think gambling should be legal, work to get the relevant laws changed. If you don’t like not being able to copy someone’s music, convince them to let you copy or buy from someone else. Don’t go crying wolf that your civil rights are being violated, cause that just belittles the real dangers to liberty (see above thread).

  27. “If you don’t like not being able to copy someone’s music, convince them to let you copy or buy from someone else.”
    Correct in theory. In practice, the RIAA puts millions into Senators’ pockets, something few citizens can do. The gambling interests are a similar racket, but when Congress does it, it’s called “legislation”.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.