Politicians Want to Protect us From the Evils of On-Line Gambling Part 2

This is part 2 of a multipart series of articles regarding proposed anti-gambling legislation. In this article, I begin discussion of the quoted reasons for this legislation, and the actual facts that exist in the real world.

The legislators are trying to protect us from something, or are they? The whole thing seems a little confusing to say the least.

As mentioned in the previous article, the House, and the Senate, are once again considering the issue of “Online Gambling”. Bills have been submitted by Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach, and also by Senator Kyl.

The bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte, The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, has the stated intention of updating the Wire Act to outlaw all forms of online gambling, to make it illegal for a gambling business to accept credit and electronic transfers, and to force ISPs and Common Carriers to block access to gambling related sites at the request of law enforcement.

Just as does Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Kyl, in his bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling, makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit cards, electronic transfers, checks and other forms of payment for the purpose on placing illegal bets, but his bill does not address those that place bets.

The bill submitted by Rep. Leach, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is basically a copy of the bill submitted by Sen. Kyl. It focuses on preventing gambling businesses from accepting credit cards, electronic transfers, checks, and other payments, and like the Kyl bill makes no changes to what is currently legal, or illegal.

So, regardless of whether online gambling is currently legal or not, just what is it that the politicians are trying to protect us from? Why is it so important to make online gambling illegal?

One answer is contained in this quote from Rep. Goodlatte “will keep children from borrowing the family credit card, logging on to the family computer, and losing thousands of dollars all before their parents get home from work”.

I think a fair translation of that quote would be “American parents are incapable of raising their own children so Congress should step in and do it for them’. Because of course we are all aware that the politicians have a much better idea of what is best for us and our children than we do.

And in another quote “In short, the Internet is a challenge to the sovereignty of civilized communities, States, and nations to decide what is appropriate and decent behavior”.

A reasonable translation of this quote would seem to go something like “Individual Americans are not capable of deciding for themselves what behavior is appropriate and decent in their own homes. Fortunately Congress is here to protect them from themselves and legislate morality for them”.

Not only is Congress supposedly responsible for raising the children of America, but in order to do so, and to prevent us from unknowingly doing something indecent, they are going to legislate what we can do with our own money, on our own time, in our own homes. Does this sound like the very model of a free society, or the beginnings of a misguided totalitarian state?

Let’s delve a little deeper into these protections and see just how interested the politicians really are in making sure that our children are safe from the evils of gambling.

Remember, all of these following forms of gambling are either currently legal, or would be made specifically legal in the bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte.

First, we have casinos, and race tracks. These little money makers are proliferating all over the country and generate quite a bit of tax revenue for federal and state governments as well as profits for their operators. The people behind the anti-online gambling bills would have you believe that casinos are not an issue when it comes to underage individuals, since casino staff can see the individuals in person and assess their age.

Quite to the contrary however, we have this quote from The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery “Casino kids have been left by themselves at the outer rim of casinos while their parents gamble, according to some casino security officers. In some extreme cases, children are left in the family car in the casino parking lot for hours at a time while their parents gamble inside. Less obviously, children may also spend several hours each week with babysitters while their parents gamble in casinos, bingo halls or card rooms.”

While I certainly wouldn’t try to claim that online gambling is good for the American family, clearly, to the extent that children can relax and play in their own homes, and sleep in their own beds, online gambling presents less of a problem than the current state supported alternative.

Another form of online gambling that the proposed legislation would exempt from illegal status is the sale of lottery tickets by the states over the internet. It is difficult to see how these legislators show deep concern for the children of America based on the following quote from Overcoming Life Digest (July/August, 1998 Issue) “Studies show that lotteries are the favorite legal gambling game for teenagers. Statistically, one of seven who play will become addicted.” And from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (6 June 2003), “Many regard lotteries as a relatively benign form of gambling. However, 31 percent of callers to the 1-800-GAMBLER national hotline (operated by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey) indicated problems with lottery gambling.”

In yet another example of government raking in cash without regard for the children of America, we have Video Lottery Machines. Video Lottery Machines, or VLTs are nothing more than state sponsored electronic video poker machines. According to David Plotz in Slate.com on Friday December 17th, 1999 “These are the most addictive of any gambling instrument we have today. It is a cinch for kids to play video lottery machines, since they are often found in businesses that kids frequent.” These devices are being licensed for use in grocery stores, convenience stores, bars and markets around the country, where the children of America have easy access.

Clearly, the legislation proposed does not “keep children from borrowing the family credit card, logging on to the family computer, and losing thousands of dollars all before their parents get home from work”, They will be able to buy lottery tickets, bet on horse races, and head down to the local convenience store to play the VLTs.

In the next article, I will continue coverage of the issues raised by politicians who are against online gambling, and provide a different perspective to their rhetoric, covering the Abramoff card, and the affect of gambling on the family.

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90 Balls Bingo Game

This bingo game is a popular version of bingo played in the UK and Europe as a whole. It has become the most popular bingo games to fans of bingo outside the North America.

Not to be outdone by its North American cousin, 90 ball bingo is fast becoming the world’s most popular version of the game.

This is how this game of bingo is played.

1. The Bingo Cards
The main difference between the 75 ball and the 90 balls games of bingo is in the card arrangements. In the 90 ball game, the tickets which are arranged in strips are in nine columns and three rows alignment. Every row has five boxes containing numbers in the range of 1 – 90. The squares that have no numbers assigned remain blank and so this ball game does not have any free boxes.

2. To Purchase Cards:
The process of buying cards is more or less similar to buying cards in the 75 balls bingo game. To buy cards, you first select the ones that you would want and then click on them with the mouse. They should light up and flash the word selected. It is important that you click on the purchase ticket to purchase them. Once this has been done, the chosen card will change their color and indicate that they have been purchased. At this point you are ready to begin playing.

3. 90 Ball Calling Board
The 90 ball bingo game shares a similar call board to that of its 75 ball bingo counterpart, with a couple of slight variations. The 90 ball calling board contains six rows of 15 numerical characters, for a possible total of 90 numbers.

4. New Number Patterns
the 90 balls bingo game has some dynamic patterns which are fun to play especially due to the numerous prizes awarded in each game for each available pattern. The 90 ball bingo has separate prizes on features for players that mark off one line horizontally then two more then the numbers on a bingo ticket (card). This is known as a full house.

5. Winning at 90 Ball Bingo
The 90 balls game is in essence a gambling game and the risk of gambling is very real in this game. Practice over free sites where you can do trial and error without involving any risk, just to get the hang of it before venturing into the gambling sites. Another rule of thumb is to keep your chats general. Do not share confidential information about your logins or otherwise over the chat rooms. Make sure you go through and understand the guidelines for playing the 90-ball game before you start. This will give you a clear picture of loyalty points and bonus rewards available to you so that you may take advantage of them to increase your earnings.

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Poker – From the ‘Cheating Game’ to Respectability

There is a dispute among card historians as to the exact origins of the card game known as ‘Poker’. Some claim that it is a derivation of a centuries old Persian game called ‘Nas’, while others insist that it is Chinese in origin started Emperor Mu-tsung. The French imported a Spanish card game called ‘Pochen’ (which they renamed ‘Poque’) into New Orleans which most people agree was the beginning of the game we now know as Poker.

The game of Poker quickly spread up the Mississippi via the Riverboat gamblers of the 1800’s. The earliest written accounts of the card game of Poker was made by Jonathan H. Green where he referred to Poker in his writings as ‘The Cheating Game’, a name that probably refers to both the idea of ‘bluffing’ (a major part of the game and until Poker seldom found in card games) and the amount of money lost to those who were unfortunate enough to lose their money to the riverboat gamblers of the period.

Poker soon became a part of Americana during this country’s Wild West era. There was hardly a saloon or hotel that didn’t have a Poker game in progress either in a backroom or at a table.

Until recently Poker was relegated to a card game that was played at a ‘boy’s night out’ gathering or by professionals at gaming casinos or illegal gambling houses. With the growth of the internet and the sudden rise of Poker variants such as “Texas Hold’ Em” Poker has now found its way into the social mainstream. Now everyone from housewives to professional gamblers are playing the game.

The game of poker has taken off like wildfire in both the United States and abroad. Poker sets are ‘flying’ out of the game stores and many stores have poker tables on back order because of the recent demand. There are now cable channels that are dedicated to the card game, and high stakes games are now televised nationally. Poker has become a true cultural phenomenon; one that the internet has taken full advantage of.

Before the advent of internet gaming sites, a poker player had to sit down at a table with other players in order to wager on a poker game. Since a major part of poker gambling involves ‘bluffing’ (pretending that you have a better hand than you actually have) the visual signals that one player could glean from another (often called ‘tells’) were critical for true gambling success. Now card players can play, wager, and bluff without ever seeing their opponent, shifting the emphasis from physiological clues to psychological pressure.

Currently there are literally hundreds of poker websites which cater to the beginner player all the way up to gambling poker professionals where hundreds of thousands of dollars can be won or lost on a single hand. Most of the online poker sites attempt to create a relaxed and ‘player-friendly’ environment in an attempt to allay the fears of first time players. Most allow new players a large amount of freedom to ‘roam’ the various ‘rooms’ and even observe actual games in progress so that they can get a ‘feel’ for the differences of online play verses the more traditional ‘live’ poker game.

The card game of poker has had an image overhaul. No longer is it a game played by card sharks and men in smoke filled rooms hidden away from the general public. It is now played by housewives, businessmen, and even little old ladies in Pasadena.

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Casino Games- Gambling is an Exercise For Your Mind

The example of Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician of 17th century, proves that gambling might be not so much a purpose as means. It can be an excellent exercise for mind, as in case with Pascal and another French mathematician – Fermat, who invented calculations, now known to us as theory of probabilities.

“Theory of probabilities was created when Pascal and Fermat started playing gambling games”, stated one of their contemporaries.

These two scientists did sums on theory of probabilities by correspondence and the relevant material was obtained during their visits to the gambling house at leisure. Later this correspondence resulted in Pascal’s treatise, “completely new composition on accidental combinations which govern the gambling games”.

In his work Pascal almost completely casts out phantoms of luck and chance from gambling games, substituting them with cold statistic calculations based on the arithmetic mind. It’s difficult for us to imagine what riot the invention made among the gamblers. We treat theory of probabilities as something trivial, though only specialists are sound on its details, but everyone understands its main principle. But in the times of the French mathematician, the minds of all gamblers were absorbed with such notions as “divine intent”, “lap of Fortune” and other things that only enhance the obsession by the game adding extra mystical tones to the games. Pascal without any hesitation opposes his thesis to such attitude to the game “Fluctuations of happiness and luck subordinate to considerations based on fairness and which aim irrevocably to give every player what actually is owing to him”.

In Pascal’s hands mathematics became fabulous art of foreseeing. It is more than just amazing that unlike Galileo, the French scientist did not make numerous tiring experiments on multiple throwing dice that tool a great deal of time. In Pascal’s opinion, the unique feature of the art of mathematic consideration compared to the common statistics is that it obtains its results not from the experiments but is based on “mind foreseeing”, i.e. on intellectual definitions. As a result “preciseness of mathematics is combined with uncertainty of chance. Our method borrows its awkward name – “mathematics of chance” from this ambiguity”. Another curious name followed Pascal’s invention – “method of mathematical expectation”.

Staked money, wrote Pascal, no more belonged to gamester. However, losing nth sum of money, players also gain something in return, though most of them do not even guess it. In fact, it is something absolutely virtual, you cannot touch it neither put into your pocket and to notice it – the gambler should possess certain intellectual ability. We are talking about the acquired “right to expect regular gain a chance can give according to the initial terms – stakes”.

Somebody will say that it is not so encouraging. However seeming dryness of this formulation ceases when you just pay your attention to word combination “regular gain”. Expectation of gain turns out to be quite justified and fair. It’s another matter that a more hot-tempered person is more likely to pay his attention to the word “chance” and “can give” (and consequently it might also be otherwise).

Using his method of “mathematical expectation”, the French scientist thoroughly calculates particular values of “right for gain” depending on different initial terms. Thus a completely new definition of right appears in mathematics which differs from the similar definitions of law or ethics.

“Pascal’s triangle” or where theory of probabilities fails.
Pascal summed up the results of these experiments in the form of the so-called arithmetic triangle consisting of numerical numbers. If you can apply it, you can precisely foresee probability of different gains.

For common people “Pascal’s triangle” looked more like magic tables of kabbalists or like a mystic Buddhist mandala. Failure to understand the invention by the illiterate public in 17th century touched the rumour that “Pascal’s triangle” helped to forecast world catastrophes and natural disasters of the remote future. Indeed presentations of theory of probabilities in the form of graphic tables or figures and moreover proved by the real game caused almost religious sensations in uneducated gamblers.

Though we should not mix theory of probabilities with what it is not by its definition. “Pascal’s triangle” fails to foresee the future deal in one particular case. Eyeless destiny governs such things- and Pascal never debated it. Theory of probabilities becomes useful and can be applied only in relation to the long series of chances. Only in this case, number probabilities, series and progressions, constant and known in advance can influence the decision of a clever gambler in favor of a particular stake (card, lead, etc.)

Pascal’s invention is even more amazing if to take into account that its famous triangle was known to Muslim mathematician of certain religious orders many centuries ago. It is absolutely true that European Pascal could not obtain this information from anywhere.

All this once again proves that mathematical patterns of any process are the same regardless of time and space and whims of the so called Fortune. Awareness of this fact enraptured by Pythagoreans, philosophers who deeply and emotionally perceived it at that time.

One to thirty-five.
Pascal more and more often faced similar complications connected with the game that caused controversies in gambling houses and aristocratic mansions in France of that time. Among them there was a problem proposed to young Blaise by one of his aristocratic friends.

The problem concerned dice. It was desired to find how many series of throws is theoretically necessary so that the chances to win (two sixs) will dominate the probability of all other outcomes taken together. All this is not so difficult as a beginner may presume. It is easy to notice that in the game with two bones there are only 36 combinations of numbers and only one gives double six. After such explanation it is clear for any sensible person that with one-time throw there is only one chance to thirty-five to win.

The result of these simple calculations can cast down many fans of dice, but on the other hand, the rapture of those lucky ones throwing double six is staggering. Because they know the exact devil number of opposite outcomes that opposed their luck!

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