Friday, April 22, 2011
Play money, real money, online poker and the First Amendment
Play money poker should be covered by the First Amendment -- like passing jokes around -- like any board game -- recreational speech?
If so -- big if?; but could they outlaw Monopoly? -- then poker is covered by the First Amendment per se -- including real money poker. Once a constitutional right is involved the legislature may no long outlaw something just because they feel like it is reasonable. Once a constitutional right is involved the legislature must be able to present a "compelling" reason to outweigh the right.
The snuck-by Congress legislation bars online poker for moral reasons. They waited too long to enforce it. By the time tens of millions from every continent are playing the game online -- with no reports of massive (or any) moral collapse -- the idea of infringing freedom of speech to protect our morals is not merely arguable, it is universally laughable.