I Have Heard of Congress Exempting Itself From Regulations...

From the folks who exempt themselves from minimum wage, OSHA, and much of environmental law, comes the news that while shutting down online poker for most Americans, the District of Columbia is starting up its own online poker site for federal officials and other DC residents.


  1. Steven:

    I wouldn't be surprised if there is more to this story... someone with connections to Intralot or someone with connections to a firm that can help provide VPN capabilities out of DC.

  2. Mike Tr.:

    Online Poker is one of the most stupid inventions ever. If the guys running the game aren't cheating, they are idiots.

    There's all kinds of devious strategies. Let players win big at the $1 tables, then clean out his credit cards once he plays the big tables. The company could have its own buddies in the games who they show everyone's cards to.

    Even when the house isn't in on the cheating, players can tell each other their cards in a bunch of ways. That's a whole new set of ways to scam other other legit players at the table.

  3. Tim:

    @Mike Tr.: Poker is parimutuel wagering. The bets are among the players themselves, with the house taking a cut off the pot. Any online poker site that tolerated or abetted in cheating would be (and have been) sussed out, costing the site players. Additionally, there's no advantage to the site to facilitate unfair games because their take is a percentage of play, not of winnings.

  4. Henry Bowman:

    This reminds me of a banking experiment conducted in South Africa [my recollection of the country may be incorrect] sometime back, discussed on Freakonomics radio a few months ago. In order to encourage people to save more money, banks would pay out cash prizes on a periodic basis, rather than interest. One's chance of winning a prize was proportional to the amount in one's savings account. The grand prize was quite substantial.

    The result of the experiment was twofold. First, people who had never saved began saving very regularly, and bank deposits increased enormously. Second, because the experiment was so successful, it cut into the income from the state-sponsored lottery. It was quickly made illegal by the state, which hates competition.

  5. Old Soldier:

    I still see all kinds of lottery tickets at the gas station. Maybe they didn't like the competition.