Tuesday, February 26, 2008

State regulation and internet poker

A commenter to my recent PPA post asked about the form of state regulation I might like to see.

I don't see any reason to change what is. Every state already regulates gambling to some extent (except for Hawaii and Utah, which just ban it outright).

Regulation of the internet should be done by international treaty, not by the Federal government, not by individual states. Whether it's internet porn, or internet gambling, or internet sales of motercycle parts, or internet political discussion doesn't really matter. It's a form of communication. It's protected by the first amendment. Government agencies have no business meddling in it.

Commercial transactions, such as gambling transactions, do have some special government interests involved. One such interest is to protect citizens from fraud. That's a good thing. But we don't need regulation to do that. We don't need criminal law to do that. Regulation and criminal law are both very heavy handed. Commercial fraud is a civil tort and we need wide discovery rules in the individual state courts for citizens who want to bring civil action against interet sites such as Absolute Poker. We need broad ability to go after affiliated assets, such as assets of high profile paid spokespersons or of internet companies who do business with internet gambling sites.

Let's see what Annie Duke and the PPA think about that idea?



Blogger Drizztdj said...

The only part that gets fuzzy for me is the internet's home base.

Canterbury Park is regulated by the laws of Minnesota since the card club is in Shakopee.

Should/would internet casinos be limited to pooling together players of one particular state or could the same rules of multi-state lottery/simulcasting horse races apply?

Thanks again for the post Gary.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Online casinos don't have parimutuel pools as race tracks and lotteries do.

Also, the interstate pooling of race tracks started with the tracks providing video to Nevada race books in exchange for the books contributing to the pools (prior to the video books paid track odds but booked their own bets).

I just don't see where the things that are an issue with tracks and lotteries are also an issue with internet casinos.

If an online service doesn't have a physical presence in a state then I don't see an issue at all.

There's no reason some government agency always has to be in charge. It is possible to just leave things alone.

9:27 AM  

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