Legal online gambling a question of popular entertainment and personal freedom

Popular-Entertainment-Personal-FreedomI am no great fan of organized religion, but it would be no secret to say that for the past 15 years, I have been something of an evangelist for online gambling. This website is an extension of the effort to disseminate my longheld view that gambling is a form of popular entertainment, one of many that competes for your entertainment dollar.

Naysayers like to claim that gamblers who walk away from the table without a jackpot in their hands have thrown their money away, but the same could be said for anyone who purchases a ticket to a rock concert or sporting event, or hired someone to take them skydiving or scuba diving. When these types of activities are over, the participants don’t get to take home any kind of tangible product beyond the enjoyment they experienced at the moment they experienced it. Would naysayers claim these people had also thrown their money away? Perhaps, but I think you’d have a hard time getting the skydivers and Lady Gaga fans to accept it as truth.

But let’s say you don’t like to skydive, and you’re not a fan of music or sports, but you do like to gamble. If you have the money to pay for the experience — an experience legally available to citizens of many western countries — why should you not be allowed to spend your entertainment dollar the way you see fit? If America truly is (as it purports itself to be) the land of the free, why should Americans be denied the same basic freedoms enjoyed by citizens of other nations?

This is the crux of the matter currently being debated in the U.S. congress. And slowly, slowly, politicians and the opinion shapers in the mainstream media are catching up to the long-held views of average Americans. Whether they’ve done so because they’ve had a genuine change of heart, or because they’ve finally acknowledged the futility of trying to hold back the tides, is immaterial. With apologies to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in this case, it’s not the journey, but the arriving at the destination that counts — because legal online gambling in America is a train that should have pulled into the station years ago. Read more.