Yobbo, ChrisV Banned

Worried about the potential for terrorist financing, federal cabinet has examined wide-ranging legislation to ban foreign internet gambling and ordered further work before it makes a final decision, which may be next week.

Government sources said cabinet was looking at options including total prohibition, stiff industry regulations, or leaving policing to the states.

Here are your options regarding total prohibition: Pull out the plug that connects Australia to the internet. That’s it, very simple! That’s the only way you will stop internet gambling. Is it really worth it?

Let me provide a quick explanation of how useless further “industry regulations” will be. The gambling site that I use most days, Empire Poker, is incorporated in that great nation “Kahnawake Mohawk Territory” which, for those of you who need to brush up on your geography, is located on the South shore of the St Lawrence river, across from Montreal.

Internet Gambling is also banned in the US, see. Most companies are therefore based in various financial islands in the carribean, (such as good old Tuvalu, which also gives us the very handy .TV top level internet domain), or on other Indian reservations. Now, regardless of Australia’s status as “deputy sherriff in the Pacific”, I’m pretty sure we are quite incapable of defeating France in a future war over gambling in their former colonies. After all, they have nukes.

Therefore, to prevent Australians accessing internet gambling sites, you have to stop the access from our end. How the Howard government proposes to do this is a mystery to me. Sure, you could block the IPs of every current internet gambling site, which would work quite well until a new one opens in 15 seconds time…

I also like the oh-so-scary threat of terrorist financing used to justify the bans. Funny how it doesn’t stop the government from running the TAB or Casinos located in Australia. In fact, it’s vastly easier to launder money at a bricks-and-mortar casino, because most internet sites place strict limits on the amount of cash that may be transferred through their systems on a daily basis. Around $5000 in most cases. You could launder hundreds of thousands in a real casino before they took any notice whatsoever.

The terrorism angle wasn’t needed last time they banned internet gambling, why bring it up now? Is it because the traditional “gambling is evil” justifications are losing their effect? Unlike the US, Australia’s conservative party doesn’t have a large Christian segment that pushes for anti-sin laws at every turn. Who among the Liberal party faithful is actually pushing for this ban? I grew up in Liberal/National heartland, and everyone there gambles. Australia has a public holiday for a horse race, for fuck’s sake. Why the hell are the Libs still pursuing this rubbish?

Myself, ChrisV and a lot of our friends were kinda hoping that with Alston gone, the Howard government would seek out a less retarded internet policy in the future. This is an issue that could be a Sullivan-style “Deal Breaker” for all of us, as they are basically planning to outlaw our livelihood. I’m yet to see any response from Labor on this issue, but something tells me their policy will be no different. In the event that these laws are ever actually enacted, we will probably have to emigrate.

A lot of lifelong Liberal voters read this site: What are your thoughts on internet gambling?

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One Comment on “Yobbo, ChrisV Banned”

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