Just in time for Christmas, Forbes magazine has given online gambling a glamorous makeover. A pair of economics professors — McGill University’s Reuven Brenner and HEC Montreal’s Gabrielle A. Brenner — sum up their theme in the article’s subhead, which states: “Gambling is a normal human pursuit like any other, and it’s time to bring it out of the shadows.” (Check out the full article here.)
Spurred by the recent failure to legislate US online gambling at the federal level, the article condemns the pejorative fallacies so often propagated by anti-gambling zealots. It also lays bare the historical origins of such fallacies, noting that gambling’s opponents have often been frustrated by losing the competition for consumers’ discretionary funds, and “if you cannot compete, then get the government to outlaw the competition and disguise your motives with patriotic or moral outrage.”
But the authors are just getting warmed up. They knock down the gambling addiction boogeyman, noting that “just as there are alcoholics, diet-obsessed anorexics, sex addicts and workaholics, there is no doubt that a minuscule percentage of people are addicted to gambling. Yet, while the alcoholic beverage, food and diet industries are all subject to regulation, gambling is singled out for special condemnation.”
“Legalizing online gambling and regulating it properly would help establish an already thriving global industry, attract investment, retain entrepreneurs and brains specialized in this business, while increasing employment and tax revenues, just as it currently does in London. If the U.S. wants a thriving new industry, then it should not just legalize internet gambling, but de-monopolize it and, as with all industry, hold the companies accountable for their actions.”
For the record, CalvinAyre.com has been blowing this trumpet since it launched last year. The man whose name this site bears has been singing this tune for a decade and a half now. The fact that notable mainstream business publications in the US are joining in this chorus is growing proof that the US federal government is way behind the curve on this issue.
To close, we’d like to acknowledge that Forbes seems to be employing a much higher caliber of writer since Matt Miller left the magazine in April of this year to form a ‘wealth research’ company. Miller was the author of the infamous Calvin Ayre cover story for the 2006 Billionaires issue, in which Miller fabricated the “Catch Me If You Can” phrase widely misattributed to Calvin.
Miller might have come away with a more realistic story had he been as interested in doing research on Calvin, Bodog and gambling as he was in ‘researching’ the hookers at the Del Rey. Calvin got an inkling that Matt had other priorities when he left behind his interview notes in CR. Too bad Calvin couldn’t also have FedExed him the vomit Matt left all over the floor of one of Calvin’s Hummers.
But hey, live and let live, right? To show we’re good sports, we’ll even put in a plug for Matt’s new ‘wealth research’ company, so enjoy this sample of Matt in action: