CBS Speaks Against Internet Gambling
18th of September 2014
On September 17th, 2014, the CBS News program 60 Minutes re-ran an episode from 2013 that talked about illegality of internet gambling. Oddly enough, they never mentioned any existing laws that make gambling in cyberspace illegal (because there are no federal laws that forbid internet gaming). Nor did they mention the creative use of the 1961 Wire Act that has been used as a weak stick against the online gaming industry. In short, if internet gaming was already illegal, Congress would not be working so hard to craft a bill to make it officially illegal. What this 60 Minutes piece focused on was an argument about the misuse of parent's credit cards by children who want to gamble online.
Screaming "What about the children" and claiming making online gaming illegal will somehow stop kids from running up huge debts on their parents' credit cards is not only nonsensical, but a slippery slope. The same child who can run up thousands in debt on a parents' Visa playing at PartyPoker, can also surf over to Ebay and run up huge debts there as well. The only option when it comes to having folks absolutely financially protected is to give the federal government absolute control over all financial transactions through online sources, and it's not likely anyone of us wants it. Even if that were the case, it would still be impossible to stop the sort of credit card abuse they claim is the impetus for a Congressional and media campaign against online gaming.
There is nothing in the constitution that says the government is responsible for monitoring the wallet of an accountant from Cincinnati who has foolishly left it where his curious, net savvy child can easily get at it. Personal responsibility is what will prevent these kinds from abuses, not new laws. Too bad 60 Minutes decided to use its position to yet again misinform the public. This seems to be a bad habit with any CBS News product.