The US Anti Gambling Propaganda Machine
As we’ve discussed already, due to the nature of the internet, controlling online gambling by governments is a very problematic affair at best, and one that no country has been able to get a handle on as far as effectively prohibiting it goes, save for North Korea of course.
So there is a level of oppression that can be applied to effectively eliminate online gambling, but it does require the degree that the North Koreans impose, which boils down to not having internet gambling from people simply not being able to go online.
Elsewhere, it simply goes on, and there’s even some online gambling that goes on in countries that are even extremely opposed to it, although there is just less of it, but only because the demand to gamble is less. If people want to gamble online, and to the extent they do, they will, it’s as simple as that.
So in the United States, once online gambling came on the scene, people did take to it very well, and Americans are known for their penchant for gambling, being among the highest countries in the world for per capita spending on it.
The United States is also particularly known for their desire to control and regulate, and gambling at the time was less permitted than it is today, back in the mid to late 90’s when online gambling started taking off, and there were definitely some concerns as to what they could do.
It’s not that they are powerless against seeking to control it at the individual level, as they still could use propaganda to fight it, and this war continues on today. So you just tell the people it’s against the law, whether or not that view is correct or not doesn’t matter, because this is propaganda after all
Propaganda Skirts The Practical
Where the law is concerned, there is a tendency to avoid looking at it practically, for instance saying that regardless of what the law may say, if it’s unenforceable, it’s of no legal effect anyway.
Getting people to obey the law for its own sake is a voluntary thing really, much like imposing law on an isolated island which doesn’t have any enforcement, there’s no police or courts or any other dispute resolving mechanisms, and they have to rely solely on people complying with the law without any real consequences involved.
This is what anti-online gambling laws come down to as well, although a lot of people don’t realize that since you can’t really get caught doing this, the law doesn’t really matter if you don’t want it to, and to many, it doesn’t, but to some, it may.
Anti gambling propaganda does work quite well actually, as there are a lot of people who shy away from the online market due to beliefs about it being legal, whether these beliefs are founded in the law or not.
A lot of people even think that the government has to make online gambling explicitly legal, like they do in Nevada, for it to be legal, and therefore confuse legality with regulation, but there’s a lot of confusion that surrounds this topic.
Propaganda invades discussions about the law itself as well, for instance the position that the Wire Act applies to individuals or that it applies to other forms of gambling besides sports betting has been shamelessly promoted over the years, to a great extent, with no regard at all to the facts.
That’s what propaganda is really, a distortion of the facts to promote a cause, and this continues on today, and people are still cautioned by American legal authorities not to gamble online because it’s against the law, and the new trend is to not even bother with justifying this opinion in law.
So people become controlled, dissuaded to some degree, by way of all this, and that’s the goal, and it’s fairly effective actually.
The Propaganda Machine Sets Sail For Other Lands
This message is certainly not limited to Americans, and a big part of the effort is to confuse and intimidate foreign entities into complying with the wishes of the U.S. government. Often times, this works as well, but not in all cases thankfully.
Legal propaganda aimed at non Americans would at least appear to be a lot more challenging, since these people aren’t subject to American laws in any way, but this didn’t stop them and they have actually had a lot of success in this arena.
In looking to put this plan into action, U.S. authorities do have a big ace up their sleeve, and that’s the fact that they do have domain over U.S. based financial institutions, who they can indeed scare, and this is another example of their using propaganda.
A lot of offshore gambling sites simply complied though over the years, and in some cases, the practical difficulties did no doubt factor into it, but some just chose to exit the market based upon the belief that it was illegal to offer online gambling to Americans and this law applied to them.
Party Gaming even paid a huge fine for the years they offered play to Americans, and this was all purely voluntary, as even the U.S. government doesn’t have the power to fine foreign businesses like this, but Party went along with the charade, and the thinking was that they hoped to re-enter the market some day, which they ended up doing.
The financial targeting was a brilliant move though as this did introduce an actual practical concern. No one really cared about the U.S. government citing that offshore operators were in violation of the Wire Act, unless you were an American or someone visiting the U.S. that ended up being charged under it for offering a sports betting site.
However, once financial institutions became afraid, this really negatively impacted the options that players could use to move money in and out of these offshore sites, and many didn’t want to bother with the additional challenges involved, which were significant.
So there’s been a lot of drum beating here but this drum beating certainly was well heard and considerably well heeded.