Hey, There’s an Internet Gambling Bill

Apparently some important folks in Washington are reading my blog, because there’s a bill on the legalization of Internet gambling being debated.

Proponents say legalizing online gambling might raise $10 billion to $42 billion in new government revenue over 10 years according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

On the other hand, douchebags have this to say:

“Betting with a credit card can undercut a player’s perception of the value of cash, leading to addiction, bankruptcy and crime.”

According to a May 2009 Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans called gambling “morally acceptable,” while 36 percent called it “morally wrong.” But there are concerns. In a Pew poll in 2006, 70 percent said they think legalized gambling encourages people to gamble more than they can afford.

ABC News

See if you can guess the percentage of poll respondents I’d like to punch in the face.  If you said 106%, your math-game is pretty weak, but your heart is in the right place.  Now if we can just get you away from the poker for a few minutes, we can organize a rally and bring the poker business back into the states instead of inflating the GDP of every country in the Caribbean.  It’s just another billion-dollar industry, you can have it.

While passage of a bill that legalizes and regulates/taxes nonsports betting is unlikely to be passed before Congress’s 7-week recess, Stephen J. Dubner points out on the Freakonomics Blog that the gub’ment regularly lightens up on the rules when they desperately need your tax dollars.  And the way we’ve been spending for the last few years, there’s no question about that.

From Dan Okrent’s recent Q&A about Prohibition: “No factor played a larger role in the repeal of Prohibition than the government’s desperate need for revenue as the country fell into the grip of the Depression.”

In short: governments who hate vice suddenly hate it much less when cash flow is slow. And we are seeing that again today.

Freakonomics

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3 Responses

  1. Anyone can use statistics to prove whatever they want. Forfteen percent of all people know that. What’s really important is that the rulemakers don’t have the authority to legalize/illegalize conduct based on morality alone.

    On a related note, the staggering stupidity of the American people truly disgusts me. Arguing that legalized gambling would encourage people to gamble beyond their means is tantamount to saying that the speedometer on your car going to 180 encourages people to triple the speed limit. Automobile makers, beware.

    Oh and by the way, the jury is still out on whether “legalized poker” is actually “legalized gambling”.

    • Distinguishing poker from gambling would then make it legal, and I think it is the game to focus on as far as leading the charge because u can make the best argument with it. The site http://www.gamersaloon.com lets u bet on video games e.g. Madden. According to their FAQ it’s legal because it is considered a contest of skill not chance. In reality, the game plays out based on a series of probabilities described by player and team attributes in the software, and MANAGING those probabilities is the skill that makes a good player win an a weak playe lose; same as poker…and on a grander philosophic scale, everything else in life.

      *typos courtesy of iPhone

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