Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Gold Price Crash Through Key Support, Crude Oil in Freefall - Clive_Maund
2.Marc Faber Warns Japan's Bond-Buying Program is a Ponzi Scheme - Bloomberg
3.Silver Price and Powerful Forces - DeviantInvestor
4.Stocks Bear Market Catastrophe as Stocks Flash Crash to New All Time Highs - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Marc Faber Warns Not to Hold Any Gold in the U.S. - GoldCore
6.U.S. Housing Market San Francisco at Critical Mass - Harry_Dent
7.Global Scramble For Silver - Coins “Hard To Get,” “Premiums Likely To Jump” - GoldCore
8.Major World Stock Market Indices Analysis: SPY, QQQ, DAX, FTSE, CAC, HSI - Michael_Noonan
9.Japan's kaput?! - Axel_Merk
10.Tesco Empire Strikes Back, £5 off £40 Discount Voucher Spend Explained, Exclusions Warning! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
Gold Price 2015 - 22nd Nov 14
Stock Market Medium Term Top? - 22nd Nov 14
Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - 22nd Nov 14
Malaysia's Subsidy and Budget Deficit Conundrum - 22nd Nov 14
Investors Hated Gold at Precisely the Wrong Time: What About Now? - 22nd Nov 14
Gold and GLD ETF Selloff - 22nd Nov 14
Currency Wars, the Ruble and Keynes - 21st Nov 14
Stock Market Investor Sentiment in The Balance - 21st Nov 14
Two Biotech Stocks Set to Double on One Powerful Catalyst - 21st Nov 14
Swiss Gold Poll Likely Tighter Than Polls Suggest - 21st Nov 14
Gold's Volatility and Other Things to Watch - 21st Nov 14
Australia Stock Market and AUD Dollar Analysis (ASX200 and AUDUSD) - 21st Nov 14
New Algae Research May Have Uncovered an “Energy Forest” Under the Sea - 21st Nov 14
The Cultural and Political Consequences of Fiat Money - 20th Nov 14
United States Social Crisis - No One Told You When to Run, You Missed the Starting Gun! - 20th Nov 14
Euro-Zone Tooth Fairy Economics, Spain Needs to leave the Euro - 20th Nov 14
Ebola Threat Remains a Risk - New Deaths in Nebraska and New York - 20th Nov 14
Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - 20th Nov 14
Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - 20th Nov 14
Making Money While The World Burns - 20th Nov 14
Why This "Quiet Zone" Is Now Tech Stocks Biggest Profit Sector - 20th Nov 14
My Favorite Stock McDonalds Just Got Kicked Off My “Buy” List - 19th Nov 14
European Economies in Perpetual State of Shock, What's Scarier Than Deflation? - 19th Nov 14
Breakfast with a Lord of War and Nuclear Weapons - 19th Nov 14
The U.S. Economy’s Ebb and Flow - 19th Nov 14
What You Need to Know Before Investing in Alibaba - 19th Nov 14
Forget About Crude Oil Price Testing 2009 Low - 19th Nov 14
What Blows Up First? Part 5: Shale Oil Junk Bonds - 19th Nov 14
Bitcoin Price Did We Just See an Important Slump? - 18th Nov 14
How to Profit From Oversold Crude Oil Price - 18th Nov 14
Stock Valuations Outrunning Profits Growth - And the Band Played On - 18th Nov 14
ECB Buy Gold Bullion? Japan's Monetary Policy Dubbed "Ponzi Scheme" - 18th Nov 14
Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - 18th Nov 14
How High Could USD/JPY Go? - 18th Nov 14
On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies - 18th Nov 14
Globalism Free Trade Immigration Connection - 18th Nov 14
An Epiphany From Hell - Buy Gold and Silver - 18th Nov 14
Too Difficult to Get a U.S. Home Loan - 18th Nov 14
Has the Gold Bear Trap Been Set - 18th Nov 14
Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - 17th Nov 14
Cameron Says Second Global Economic Crash is Loomin, Japan in Recession - 17th Nov 14
How to Play the Stock Market 2014 Year-End Rally - 17th Nov 14
What The Fed Has Wrought, Who Needs Wage Earners Anyway? - 17th Nov 14
Stock Market Indexes Fluctuate Along Record Levels - Will Uptrend Continue? - 17th Nov 14
Stock Market Trend Deceleration Tends To Precede Corrections - 17th Nov 14
Stocks Bull Market Set to Continue After Consolidation - 17th Nov 14
The World Is Run By Fools, And We Let Them - 17th Nov 14
Gold Price Golden Bottom? - 17th Nov 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Gold Report 2015

Police State Thieves, The U.S. Government Gambling Monopoly

Politics / US Politics Apr 20, 2011 - 11:11 AM GMT

By: LewRockwell

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleCollin Moshman writes: On April 15, the federal government busted online poker behemoths Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. The Department of Justice issued a 57-page indictment against the owners, accusing them of such crimes as "Operation of an Illegal Gambling Business." The FBI also seized their domains.


US players are now restricted from playing on the two largest US online poker sites, Pokerstars and Full Tilt, with the status of many millions of dollars in online poker balances in limbo. Even for sites allowing players to withdraw this money, many worry it will be seized or indefinitely delayed if cashed out.

There is widespread outrage within the poker community concerning these events, among both professional and recreational players, as well as those in the extensive poker media and side businesses. After all, online poker is a voluntary activity. Participants choose to devote their own time and risk their own money when playing, and willingly pay the house rake for this privilege. So how do we understand the government’s aggressive actions in this case?

By definition, the US government has a monopoly on the use of force in the US. They may therefore claim a monopoly on any industry they wish, such as protection or the sale of alcohol. For instance there are government-run liquor stores. For private restaurants and businesses wishing to sell alcohol, however, the only option is expensive licensing for the privilege of competing with the government. If you don’t make the right payoff to get one of these licenses, you’re running an illegal operation and risk being shut down.

Similarly, the US government has a monopoly on gambling. If you want to gamble in the US, you can participate in a state-run lottery or play in a government-licensed casino. But despite poker being a game of skill, the government treats it as part of this gambling monopoly. Just try running a raked homegame and see what happens.

While the DOJ indictment against the poker site owners has many counts, including money laundering, the core of the bust is clearly protecting the gambling monopoly. After all, 8 of the 9 counts pertain to gambling that the government has deemed unlawful. Pokerstars, based in the Isle of Man, is not part of the US government, nor licensed by the US government, and therefore violates the gambling monopoly. Meanwhile a recent estimate has the company generating daily revenue of $1.37 million. For the government, this situation is unacceptable.

Government-approved solutions have been proposed, such as last month’s H.R. 1174:

If enacted, this legislation would allow the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) to adopt a framework for legal internet gambling. Specifically, FINCEN would be authorized to license online gambling sites annually and require the sites to use age identification technologies and pay the appropriate licensing fees, which would cover the cost of monitoring online gambling sites. Importantly, online gambling sites which are not licensed by FINCEN would be considered illegal…

Indeed, the standard stance among the more optimistic US players is that now that the government has forced out the major sites which allowed US players, the next step is a site that does comply with the US monopoly.

As a player, I have no choice but to hope for this outcome as well, as the alternative is to play on smaller and dodgier sites, where it is increasingly difficult to deposit and withdraw. It’s important for us to remember, however, that the government monopoly-approved outcome would only be a victory in terms of allowing poker players to continue playing the game they love. When it comes to the basic principle that businesses and individuals should be allowed to participate in voluntary transactions without violent interference, we all lose.

Collin Moshman [send him mail] is the author of best-selling poker strategy books Sit ‘n Go Strategy and Heads-Up No-Limit Hold ‘Em. He heads Team Moshman, an international team of staked and coached players, and coaches for Cardrunners.com. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife Katie and dog Wilbur.

http://www.lewrockwell.com

© 2011 Copyright Collin Moshman / LewRockwell.com - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014