Guardian Unlimited Money | Business news | Last chance saloon for online gaming firms

   The online gambling craze has been getting more and more press recently. A couple of traveling executives who crossed the border into the U.S. have been arrested which has caused a certain amount of justified fear among the executives and curtailed a lot of their travel here.
      It is pretty ironic that a country that has a city that exists solely because of gambling as a landmark and vacation destination, has interstate gambling rings under governmental auspices, has lotteries in many, many states that are run by the government, has off-track betting, keno games rolling in diners, gas stations, and anywhere else they can wedge one in…in a country so bent on gambling run by the government, someone, somewhere thought it should not be on the Internet.
    Now, I am by nature very much NOT a gambling person. My gambling expenses in Las Vegas total 5 cents…my wife wanted to know how the Wheel of Fortune game worked, we dropped in a nickel, spun the button, she said what’s next, I said we lost, she said, “That’s it?” and when I asked if she wanted to play again I got a look that would curdle sour cream. Suited me…I like the safe plays.
       I also should divulge I come from a very conservative background devoid of smoking, drinking, drugs, and extramarital sex. As such, I am one of the people supposedly up in arms demanding the cessation of the Internet gambling.
      Frankly, I call shenanigans. Among my circle of friends that fits that profile I have yet to hear any of them even address Internet gambling much less demand their Congressmen do the weaselly “Rider” method to pass something into law.
      On the other hand, in my perusal of the news stories on the matter I have seen lots of government officials complain about not being able to tax it and all the lost revenue.
      However, it is far easier to demonize the religious set…and this is perhaps the only time you will see them grouped with sports figures…I know politics make strange bedfellows, I just think this  is a case of having an easy target and taking it.
      It is funny how accusing anyone with firmly held beliefs of demonizing everyone else and trying to inflict their morality on everyone is not itself seen as what it is…demonizing a particular group and tryin to inflict your morality on them.
      Ultimately the loophole the online gaming groups found to avoid taxes was their doom. It was just a matter of time before the government got their pound of flesh…either through taxes or closure of the sites. After all, we can’t have people gambling, can we?
   This post was not sponsored by state lotteries…but it should have been.


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