Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Car

I bought this car today! It's pretty damn nice. It's a '94 Toyota Celica. It only has 66,000 miles, it's a stick, and it runs like a dream. I'm siked! I think this weekend, I'm just going to drive around Oahu and enjoy the island.

I was telling one of my new co-workers yesterday about Internet poker. He said there was a state law in Hawaii prohibitting online gambling, but no one has ever been arrested or prosecuted under it. I told him that I thought the World Trade Organization ruling against the U.S. meant that online gambling was essentially in the clear, but then I decided to research what the WTO ruling actually means.

I found this MSNBC article from March 2004 about the international legal victory by Antigua and Barbuda against the U.S. The ruling said that a U.S. ban on cross-border Internet gambling is a violation of world trade rules. My interpretation of this WTO dispute is that online gambling is essentially legal unless the decision is overturned, despite the Justice Department's opinion that Internet gambling brings a 1961 federal law prohibiting betting across state lines.

Another article said that the U.S. has until this April to come into compliance with the WTO ruling. To do so, it will have to either restructure its federal gambling laws or legitimize gambling from Antigua. I haven't found any information about what course the U.S. plans to take.

For now, at least, it seems like Internet poker is safe. We'll see what happens come April. Even then, though, I'd be highly surprised if there were enforcement against individual citizens. We'll see.

1 comment:

April said...

I know when I visited Hawaii Christmas before last there had been a recent bust of several poker clubs in Oahu, and I got the impression that those were a much bigger deal there than they are here on the mainland. That perception might carry over to the online realm as well.

Congrats on the car, glad you're enjoying the move!! Have you hit every ABC Store in town yet?