Betcha.com Makes Bet, Loses
The latest in victimless-crime-nanny-state-neo-prohibition news comes out of Washington after state authorities seized computers from Betcha.com, a gambling site trying to float just under the letter of the law.
Incomprehensible and hypocritical as it is, last year’s US Congress outlawed online gambling unless it was on state lotteries or horse racing, a law this year’s Congress has yet to repeal even though the World Trade Organization has condemned the ban as a violation of human rights, even as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales leads his Gestapo into arresting even foreign gambling site operators the moment they step onto US soil.
Because, you know, the prisons aren’t full enough, gambling’s a sin, and government fines keep the country moving.
Washington State is even tougher on online gambling, which makes it an interesting choice of venues for Betcha.com. The site’s founder and attorney, Nick Jenkins, thought he could skirt the law by making all payouts voluntary.
It’s an "honor-based betting platform," where site users are rated based on how often or not they welsh on a bet. Technically, Jenkins tells the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Betcha.com doesn’t accept or back bets, and therefore the laws don’t apply to him. It’s more of a social network for gamblers than a gambling site.
That argument lasted about three weeks, as the joint was raided by the Washington State Gambling Commission. The site’s still online though, it appears.
Maybe one day the government will stop trying to protect us from ourselves, and remember we set this country up with the intent to protect ourselves from the government.