The Electric Commentary

Thursday, July 14, 2005

My Soon-To-Be Federally Protected Hobby

Congress is trying to outlaw internet gambling, which sucks, but every cloud has a silver lining. All three versions of the bill contain this language:

S. 627, 108th Cong. s. 5361(1)(E)(viii) (2003): "any participation in a simulation sports game, an educational game, or a contest, that (I) is not dependent solely on the outcome of any single sporting event or nonparticipant's singular individual performance in any single sporting event; (II) has an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants, or their skill at physical reaction or physical manipulation (but not chance), and, in the case of a simulation sports game, has an outcome that is determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of sporting events; and (III) offers a prize or award to a participant that is established in advance of the game or contest and is not determined by the number of participants or the amount of any fees paid by those participants."

That's right. If one of the three bills in Congress right now passes, at least Fantasy Football (and other fantasy sports, but really, who cares about those) will be excluded from the definition of gambling as a matter of Federal Law.

Big tip of the cap to Christine Hurt, who laments her status as a FF widow. My condolences. I'm married to one, so I can relate.


  • How unbelievably stupid. Has anyone ever heard even a remotely plausible explanation for why Congress should ban gambling while most states have lotteries? I'm amazed that Congress doesn't ban gambling in Vegas. Don't tell me it'd be unconstitutional; there's infinitely more interstate commerce involved in Vegas casinos than there is in medical marijuana clubs. I guess the only reason is that too many casinos have given too much money to too many members of Congress. Too bad the online gambling sites weren't smart enough to line some powerful senators' pockets.

    By Blogger MDS, at 12:32 PM  

  • It is incredibly stupid and hypocritical. Believe it or not, the when the Wisconsin Lottery was introduced the Indian tribes in the state successfully sued to be allowed to open Casinos in a case that I believe went to the Wisc. Supreme court. It would be perfectly constitutional for congress to ban gambling outright.

    As with most things, this is all about money. You can't tax what's off shore. Of course they never think to simply legalize it on shore. That would be too easy.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 12:50 PM  

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