Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Law Is a Tramp

When I see an immoral piece of legislation, one that tells people how to live their lives, and then I hear people get around it with technicality, I smile. Tonight on 60 Minutes there was a segment on online gambling, which is illegal in the US. But companies find ways around that by being located overseas and then advertising the same domain name but with a .net web address instead of a .com. This .net address labels itself as an education site (where people learn to gamble), getting around the law while directing people to the .com address (where people actually gamble). Genius.

For some reason, the reporter had a problem with this and I saw two different answers. One was cracking down on the law, which is clearly worse. The other is to making the gambling illegal, not because that would be the moral thing to do but because then the government could regulate it. Apparently, it needs widespread control.

How did 60 Minutes come to this conclusion? They gave a 16-year-old a credit card and then lamented about how easy it was for him to start gambling. Of course it was easy; that's one of the great things about Internet commerce. It's built to be easy. But the viewers are supposed to conclude that it's the company's job to police someone else's child and someone else's credit card.

In a world where anyone can grab that bit of plastic and use it online with the ease of using a turning on the television, it is clearly the cardholder's responsibility to keep track of their card. If you have a kid in your house, you childproof the stairs, block some TV channels and keep your credit card in your pocket. Just because, on average, you're giving money to casinos does not mean they are your babysitters.

1 comment:

Darren Mallory said...

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