October 19, 2005
More U.S. Government Hypocrisy on Gambling
Posted by Christine Hurt

The U.S. government, which has officially claimed that all Internet gambling violates the Wire Act and that prohibition is necessary because of the ease of at-home gambling to exploit problem gambling, is itself in the close-to-home gambling business.  According to today's NYT, the U.S. military owns and maintains slot machines on overseas military bases.  This overseas gambling rakes in more than $120 million annually that the U.S. government says is necessary to fund other military recreation.  Domestic bases do not have slot machines, but they have bingo games, which bring in $7 million annually.  If I were to imagine a setting that could exploit the problem gambler, then an on-base casino aimed at young people under stress, apart from family, during wartime might do it.

Read the whole article.  Most telling is that four years ago, Congress asked the Pentagon to study the situation.  After hiring PWC to do the study, the Pentagon fired the outside consulting firm and finished the study itself, which concluded that slot machine revenue was necessary for "golf courses and family activity centers."

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