Tim Beyers wrote:
> Neteller is like PayPal in most respects, except that the London-based
> company specializes in processing online gaming payments. Poker sites
> such as PokerStars and PartyGaming's Party Poker offer good
> examples. And it's a big business -- Neteller processed more than $7.3
> billion U.S. in transactions during 2005. That's a lot of, um, evil.
Here's a tough moral issue.
On the one hand, gambling is very harmful and much of it is illegal
for very good reasons. It's very addictive and too many people bet
their food and rent money and ruin their families. Lately, many of
college kids graduate deeply in debt or get into criminal activity to
cover their gambling debts. A common reason of theft by bookkeepers,
cashiers, tax collectors, etc. is gambling losses. These losses are
Some years ago gambling was allowed in Atlantic City NJ. All sorts of
promises were made of how it would rejuvenate the town, etc. Nothing
On the other hand, gambling is a form of great entertainment for a lot
of people. It's a huge business, casinos do well because people like
it. If you outlaw it, then the outlaws will take over, that was a big
part of the old time mobsters and "rackets". (Of course, handling
gambling is pretty tame stuff compared to handling narcotics today.)
What is particularly scary and not discussed is that govt and industry
are just as greedy for gambling money as are the players seeking the
big win. Government wants the taxes. Towns want the alleged economic
development, especially where casinos are proposed in depressed areas.
Developers want to build the casino/hotels/playgrounds. These
interests can't get on the bandwagon fast enough. This kind of thing
I definitely don't like.
If you want to have a casino in some out of the way place or a limited
government lottery, ok. Some office football pools or even straight
numbers, ok. But I don't want a gambling hall on every corner, and
that's what all the interests want to do. Government gets too
dependent on gambling tax revenue and ignores its responsibility to
keep this stuff from getting out of hand. Obviously, as this article
points out, Internet companies want their share.
As to telephones, this has little relevance except that the stereotype
of a bookie was very heavy telephone use. Old movies had the bookie
with lots of phone lines. The pay phone at the corner drugstore was a
bookie connection. Race tracks didn't have pay phones or restricted
them. Do we even have bookies today?
In the old days horse racing was a way for legal gambling. In that
some skill was involved in handicapping (though luck played a role).
Further, races were spaced apart, so it wasn't a constant "action"
that the gamblers crave. The gambling today offers high speed
"action" and that scares me.
Public replies, please