Bryan Caplan  

Online Gambling Getting Riskier

What Do You Want to Be Free to... Most Economists Have Two Hands...

I'm mildly surprised to learn that parts of the U.S. government are actually trying to crack down on online gambling. Robin Hanson pointed me here and here.

If ever there were a time to sarcastically ask, "Don't you have anything better to do?" this is it.

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COMMENTS (11 to date)
Jason Briggeman writes:

What better use could they make of their time than seeking profit? That's all we ask of other businessmen...

John writes:

Hey they even tacked this orphan bill onto the must pass ports security bill. Politics as usual.

sxx writes:

The latest news from Google co-founder Sergey Brin that his company will stop creating new products and instead try to improve the old ones shows that the company changes its approach. Google management now has 35 different products on their hands but not one of them matches the success of the original web site. And this is understandable, because according to statistics was one of the hundreds of web sites that were trying to build search engines, but only Google became the real star. Unless you are developing hundreds of products your chances to strike gold like next Google are pretty slim and 35 different products is a good effort but not good enough from the probability point of view.

Worse still, the bill is likely to be self-defeating. When a repressive regime like China has had such difficulty censoring the Internet, it seems unlikely that freedom-loving America will succeed. Rather than protect the vulnerable, therefore, the new laws are likely to drive them into the more dangerous hands of unscrupulous and unregulated gambling sites.

Dr. Tensor writes:

Christ all mighty...I puked when I first saw this.

When kind of dog do they enjoy ****ing on top of Capitol hill?

Brad Hutchings writes:

The best thing the GOP could possibly do while it regroups after the election is to trade James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and the rest of those yoyos and their followers to the Democrats for the Latino vote. The Dems would make a huge gain in campaign contributions, but the GOP would get good people again.

Matthew Ponder writes:

I am also suprised to see the goverment cracking down on this issue. I read about the NFL being a huge supporter of this to try to stop even the notion that a game could be fixed. I think the econmic impacts will be felt to a degree becouse there is alot of money handled and moved around in the online beting scene.

TDL writes:

This bill should be called the Bookie Assistance Act of 2006. Those poor bookies and their violent enforcers were losing power and market share to these shameless entrepreneurs on the internet. Fortunately, good ol' Senator Frist was able to secure a nice, growing revenue stream to mobsters. Thank you Bill Frist.

John Thacker writes:

The bill itself doesn't actually make online gambling illegal. It's an attempt to crack down on gambling which is already illegal, according to the state of the bettor or where he's betting. (The bill is sensible enough to note that packets traveling through a network which goes through a third state isn't enough to make betting using those packets subject to the intermediate state's laws.) Any state is perfectly free to legalize any sort of online gambling, and the bill doesn't affect that.

Of course, I prefer the laissez faire approach anyway. I do think that there are problems with having widely ignored laws, but that doesn't make me prefer actually having them enforced.

So many of the states run their own lotteries, or have Indian or other casinos with fairly sweet deals, that I'm not exactly expecting any state to legalize.

TGGP writes:

Brad Hutchings, it seems you could use a good dose of Steve Sailer. The G.O.P is not going to get the latino vote. The only reason they ever thought they could was because of "family values" which you seem to be calling the party to de-emphasize. Not that I have any fondness for that crowd, but you are just giving lousy political advice.

Clint writes:

Yeah, I am not surprised to see this. Their is no question about it, they just want to make a huge profit in a short amount of time. Why don't they just go crack down on pedophilia even more, "so that less children get put in horrible situations." Probably because they have already put this in the media's spotlight and the media wants something new so their going to go to something that can bring in quick income for them but ignore what really matters such as a child getting molested.

Julie McCullom writes:

What other ways can we think of to rip off our fellow americans? The internet already does such a great job. Why not increase the risks with internet gambling? It's identity theft at a new level.


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