By Rori Black
Rep. Barney Franks (D-Mass) has introduced a bill to lift the ban on Internet gambling.
â€œ[I]t is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans, and this interference should be undone.â€ More bluntly, he has called the ban â€œone of the stupidest things I ever saw.â€
Franks questions why, with some form of gambling legal in almost every state, why there are limitations on Internet gambling. He supports some restriction on the practice such as age limitations. Supporters of the ban worry about compulsive gambling and minors’ ability to circumvent age-based security.
When the Republican-backed measure passed last October, British companies had to close their American operations and lost approximately 80% of their business. The WTO has been investigating issuing sanctions against the US as the law unfairly targets offshore casinos, whose livelihood has been threatened by the ban.
A savvy user can still circumvent the US law and gamble online. Like most morality-based legislation, one questions the constitutionality of the law as well as nanny-state-ism that thinks it can prevent us from making harmful personal decisions. There will always be addicts, be they compulsive slot button pushers or serious poker players. Limiting Internet commerce isn’t the answer.