Friday, 1 May 2009

freedom of speech in the US? - yeah right...

Once again American politicians are showing their hypocritical attitudes to life and wanting to interfere with the lives of their citizens. Minnesota, a state famous for being freezing cold and.... um, not a lot else, are now planning to force ISPs to block all online gambling sites.

Minnesota orders block of online gambling sites


In an effort to block online gambling sites from Minnesota residents, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gaming Division (AGED) has asked 11 national and regional telephone and Internet Service Providers to prohibit Minnesota-based computers from accessing nearly 200 online gaming sites.

In an announcement made Wednesday, the AGED said written notification of this request has been served to AT&T Internet Services, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Direct TV, Dish Network, Embarq, Sprint/Nextel, Frontier Communications, Qwest, Verizon Wireless and Wildblue Communications on Monday.

When asked why AGED was seeking to block online gambling sites from Minnesotans, Director John Willems acknowledged that there was no great public push for this move


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Now you might say fair enough, they're enforcing a law. If they were unilaterally opposed to gambling, then I might agree with that. But they aren't. There are 15 casinos in Minnesota. There's a racecourse in Minnesota.

Where are the bans on the illegal things that breach all public morals - terrorism, child pornography, illegal weapons? Nope, not one. This hypocrisy is about one thing, and one thing only - MONEY. They don't want tax revenue leaving the state.

The only law about online gambling in the US is the Wire Act, which outlaws sports betting, or more specifically, placing a bet across state lines via various forms of telecommunication. It does not cover casinos or poker. Only China and some of the Arab countries in the Middle East have this type of interference from government.

States have little purpose except on maps and dividing up the population for sporting teams. Allowing states to set and enforce their own (interpretations of) laws is the biggest failing of the American and Australian political system. You might as well let them all be independent countries - it's pointless!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Scott - actually the Wire Act is not the only law about online gambling in the USA. There was some further legislation to suppress online gambling passed in the US in September 2006 which is what triggered Betfair to stop accepting bets from the US. The SAFE port act had an anti-gambling provision added at the last minute. If this act is overturned, and with the new administration in place, this is a possibility, I would hope that liquidity on some of the US sports - which just happen to be so great for trading - would improve. There's certainly a big market to tap into if only the Christian right would stop interfering in peoples lives.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAFE_Port_Act

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  2. Hi Cassini,

    True, but that's not so much making online gambling illegal, but the transfer of funds - it's aimed at the banks. The Wire Act is the only one which the individual can commit a 'crime'.

    Betfair's change of tactics was related to that, but more in response to the arrest of David Carruthers. BF never have accepted bets from US citizens, that change just meant you or I couldn't be travelling in the US and place bets from there.

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