I voiced some disagreement with what seemed to be the notion that government controlled online gambling is a better bet than free market online gambling. After all, reputable online gambling operatons have, in the past, and will continue to thrive with or without government regulation because it’s good business to run an honest game.
So at Uncommon Sense Rich Nikoley explains that by pointing out that the online gambling industry is regulated in the UK, he means to dispel the notion that offshore gambling is largely run by rogue con-men that operate with impunity.
Of course, online gamblers themselves know the score, but they’re not the ones who’ll be supporting this sort of prohibition. It’ll be the church nannies who view gambling as the work of the devil. It’ll be the church nannies who view gambling as the work of the devil.
But Rich puts too much emphasis behind the role of what he calls the church nanny crowd. The argument that gambling is sin – a vice which ruins families – is pure BS and most of the people who make that argument know it. It’s window dressing.
Is there a state in the Union where no form of gambling is allowed? That should be a clear indicator that the Senate cares almost nothing about the vice aspect of online gambling. And they obviously don’t care about protecting consumers from rogues and con-men. If they did care, they would disband themselves and never return to Washington DC. It’s about preserving their own influence, protecting their contributors’ monopolies, and the attempt to keep a significant amount of surveillance on the flow of gambling revenue. That’s difficult to do with online gambling.
Legislators want to be the sole decision makers on who’ll run lucrative gambling operations. They can bestow that privilege on themselves via state run lotteries or they can dole it out to special interests, like Indian tribes and certain selected businesses. Their current preference here is to exclusively license brick and mortar operations. They want the owners of these operations to be beholden to government and it’s easier to apply the carrot and stick to these businesses if they exist in meatspace, within their reach.
It’s not about vice and church nannies. Online gambling makes it hard for lawmakers to get their cut. That’s what “problem gambling” really means to your government.