Over at Splice Today, Sarah McClutchy looks upon Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) visiting the World Series of Poker and figures his legislative attempt to repeal the ban on online gambling is a done deal (more than a bit optimisitic IMO, but hope springs eternal). A Lehigh grad, she also recalls the saga of classmate Greg Hogan, the sophomore class prez who ended up robbing a bank to cover his online bets a few years back.
I read her piece as one more reason why anybody who goes into student politics really is just a total tool. And why I was right not to consider Lehigh back in the day. She sees it more as a cautionary tale about colleges aiding and abetting bad behavior via high-speed broadband connections. Still, she concludes
Despite these dangers, online gambling should not be illegal. As history has proven, prohibition doesn't work; the people always manage to find a way to indulge their vices despite their government's best efforts. Barney Frank's bill should and probably will be passed, but its implications worry me. The likelihood of an increased number of people getting in over their heads while mindlessly clicking away on their PCs seems inevitable as many Americans are unemployed and looking for extra money. Back in 2005, Hogan may have been an anomaly, but in this climate, online addicts could become increasingly common. If passed, the legislation would likely not take effect until 2010 when economic conditions may or may not have improved…. Once it's legalized, the only thing that will protect those prone to a dangerous and devastating addiction will be foolproof regulation-and a lot of it.
I'm betting (and taking all action) that President Hogan's problems extended far beyond any sort of gambling "addiction." And that college kids and their parents or whoever is paying for the ride will come to very quick and effective solutions about online gambling. All without digital kneecaps being involved, either.