The Electric Commentary

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Do as I say, not as I do.

Go read Radly Balko's excellent article on the anti-gambling crusade.

Balko points out three reasons it is a bad idea:

Feds not our baby-sitter

The idea that government is somehow obligated, or even authorized, to protect us from our own vices and "bad" habits simply isn't compatible with a free society.

It's naked hypocrisy

Last month, police in Fairfax, Va., conducted a SWAT raid on Sal Culosi Jr., an optometrist suspected of running a sports gambling pool with some friends. As the SWAT team surrounded him, one officer's gun discharged, struck Culosi in the chest and killed him. In the fiscal year before the raid that killed Culosi, Virginia spent about $20 million marketing and promoting its state lottery.

It won't work

On CNBC three weeks ago, [Virginia Rep. and new Anti-gambling bill sponsor Bob] Goodlatte pointed out that because gambling companies themselves are offshore, they aren't subject to U.S. laws and regulations. But that's an argument against his own bill. Goodlatte's bill won't stop Internet gaming. Instead, it will not only keep gaming companies offshore, it will facilitate the rise of offshore financing services, too.

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