Minnesota Tries To Ban Online Gambling

by john on May 9, 2009

It’s hard to imagine anything dumber than Minnesota ordering ISPs to blacklist gambling sites. Check out the fax the state sent to as variety of ISPs. Reading this over brings up a number of questions:

1) Did they include all ISPs?
2) Did they include all gambling sites?

They sent the notice to what appears to be the 12 biggest ISPs but I certainly didn’t take the time to research what they have missed.

The second question is very easy to answer at first glance – they missed a lot of very popular gambling sites! They put Full Tilt Poker on the list but not Party Poker, Ultimate Bet or PokerStars. Those are 3 of the world’s biggest online poker sites! Now that’s dumb.

How about some of the other things they say in the order. From the article linked to above:

The Department of Public Safety’s letters to the Internet providers say that “gambling is illegal within Minnesota” and claim that a federal law “requires upon notice by a law enforcement agency that you do not allow your systems to be used for the transmission of gambling information.”

How exactly is “gambling information” defined? Should I not be allowed to read the Wikipedia entry on the history of poker? Dumb.

What does the state gain here? Anything or are they just trying to protect people from themselves? Maybe I could understand it if we had public casinos bring in tax income – then it would be all about capitalism. But as far as I know our Indian casinos don’t pay any tax to the state.

So I conclude this is simply a weak attempt at being Big Brother. Good luck with all that – no way this sticks.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Oyez Oyez May 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm

John,

Thanks for bringing attention to this important and timely issue.

I’ve created an online petition opposing this draconian bullying on the part of Minnesota here:
http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/minnesotacensorship

I encourage anyone reading this who cares about free speech to look it over and add your signature.

Best,
Oyez

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