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FBI Saves Us From Us

According to the L.A. Times, 3 of the largest online gambling sites were shutdown on Friday and executives of the sites have been charged with bank fraud and money laundering. According to the times:

Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and a number of their affiliates were charged with bank fraud and money laundering in an indictment unsealed in a Manhattan court. Two of the defendants were arrested on Friday morning in Utah and Nevada. Federal agents are searching for the others.

Prosecutors are seeking to immediately shut down the sites and to eventually send the executives to jail and to recover $3 billion from the companies. By Friday afternoon Full Tilt Poker’s site displayed a message explaining that “this domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant.”

Online gambling is huge. An estimated 15 million Americans have taken to online gambling in the past decade. It’s also helped in the rise of poker popularity. Poker is now on ESPN and has even been sponsored by some of the sites that were taken down.

This all goes back to a stupid 2006 law that was passed aimed at curtailing online gambling. I guess President Bush and those in congress were trying to protect us from ourselves. After the law passed, many of the companies (including those taken down on Friday) found ways to work around the law, but prosecutors say that by doing that, the companies broke the law.

Gambling is where I split from a lot of social conservatives. I have no problem with gambling and I have no problem with people betting online. I argued against the law in 2006 and still think it’s a government overreach. We have bigger problems in this country than online gambling.

What do you think?

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