The online gambling/moonshine connection

TAGs: moonshine, prohibition

Moonshine-Online-Gambling-ConnectionThere’s a school of thought that says if/when the U.S. finally admits defeat and legalizes online gambling via a few select high-profile ‘name’ companies (Harrah’s, Caesars, etc.), it will spell the end of the private, internationally operated companies (PokerStars, Bodog, FullTilt, etc.) currently servicing this market. After all, why would anyone choose to deal with an unsanctioned ‘illicit’ operator when the shiny, well-lit, wide-aisled Wal-Marts of the world wide web are open for business?

Why? Perhaps for the same reason that moonshine is still being cooked up in stills across the United States some 77 years after the repeal of the Volstead Act, the legislation that began the ill-fated experiment with alcohol prohibition. It may surprise you to learn that the largest every moonshine bust occurred not in the 1920’s, but in 2001. That’s right — despite the near ubiquitous presence of government-approved liquor stores on every street corner, each of them packed to the rafters with row after row of everything from Napoleon brandy to Japanese sake to Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a segment of the population (up to a million people, by some estimations) would still rather make their own, thank you very much, and that’s despite legal penalties that would make even David Carruthers swallow hard.

Interestingly, besides the Iron Chef DIY sensibilities at play, part of the appeal driving moonshine producers is the freedom from paying taxes on your entertainment dollar. Given that libertarian approach, it’s not too hard to imagine that the guy out driving that van full of hooch might be delivering his product to a guy who plays online poker. Ahh, synergy… Read more.


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