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Massachusetts Proposes Nanny-State Online Gambling Law

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proposed a new law to make criminals out of citizens who place bets online. (source) What makes this proposed law suspect to me is that it is buried deep within proposed legislation that would legalize land-based casinos in the Bay State.

Patrick’s provision, which is described in three paragraphs of the bill, applies to anyone in Massachusetts who places or receives a wager of any type using a telephone, cellphone, Internet, or local wireless networks. It also applies to anyone who knowingly installs equipment for transmitting wagers. The provision also specifically exempts the proposed casinos from the law. (source)

This certainly makes it look like Governor Patrick is giving the three proposed casinos a sweetheart deal. The bill prompted “Bad Cop News” to declare Governor Patrick as “crazed.” (source) Although I agree with the sentiment, I’m not sure that I agree that Gov. Patrick is “crazed.” It seems quite bright — package up a sweetheart bill legalizing a profitable enterprise while making its competition illegal. Crazed? More like machiavellian brilliance.

Ultimately, it seems that Barney Frank is a true voice of reason when it comes to online gambling:

“I believe in personal liberty,” Frank said. “Adults should be able to do what they want. I wish my fellow liberals would not be so inconsistent on this issue.” (source)

I have news for Congressman Frank. The old labels of “liberal” and “conservative” don’t fit anymore. So-called liberals seem to believe in liberty, as long as nobody uses that liberty to offend them (or their donors).

Conservatives say that they stand for less government intrusion in our lives, and the Republican party is the political home of the conservatives. Yet, the Republicans want to intrude into our personal lives to a degree that would make Stalin blush.

I consider myself to be “liberal,” but I usually find myself shunned by other liberals, while being embraced by conservatives. It makes me feel very confused when the only people who seem to like me are people who do not agree with me.

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