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Re: Out of state gambling

At 10:02 AM 8/17/95, Anonymous wrote:
>Hello C-Punks:
>(nb This is posted anonymously because I had this idea the implementation
>of which would be (probably) illegal.  I'm not sure whether putting my

It's being done. Many of us have talked about the implications of this.
Writing about it is not against the law in the U.S., at this time. A little
matter of the First Amendment,  don't you know.

See for example the Cypherpunks Web site archives,
http://www.hks.net/cpunks/index.html, or grep/search for "gambling" in my
Cyphernomicon FAQ (in my ftp directory at Netcom: ftp.netcom.com,
/pub/tc/tcmay/CP-FAQ, and in a couple of Web sites, including

My point? Not a bad idea, but also not one you should have any fear of
discussing publically (unless you believe certain conspiracy theories!).

I've been talking and writing about the implications of this stuff since
late 1987, and have not yet been "disappeared." I don't happen to like a
lot of what's going on in Washington, but I doubt that Louis Freeh or
Dorothy Denning are going to silence or threaten me!

>name to the idea would be a good idea for the reason that I can't be
>sure that I wouldn't be implicated under the overbroad "conspiracy" or
>"Rico" powers which are oh so popular as a way of putting people away
>for thought crimes.  This message will in any case have appeared via

I'm not a fan of RICO either, but we need to be careful not to impute to
RICO things which just don't happen. So far as I know, no "thought crimes"
have been prosecuted under RICO. Prosecutors--and I am not one, but I watch
them all day on t.v.!--have certain procedures they have to follow. They
just don't have the time, budget, and mandate to try to prosecute writers
and speakers, especially when the words and speech are clearly protected
under the First Amendment.

The _potential_ prosecution of Phil Zimmermann--and I say "potential"
because at the time I'm writing this, no indictment has been made--is not
because Phil was writing inflammatory stuff, but is related to the
circumstances surrounding the appearance of PGP 1.0 in foreign countries.
These would be ITAR issues, not "thoughtcrime." Or at least this is what
most people believe is the issue, as the Grand Jury has not said anything

(By the way, I'm not being critical of Anonymous here. I, too, have used
the term "thoughtcrime," as shorthand for what I think are the implications
of certain trends in the U.S. and elsewhere. Criminalizing "hate speech"
fits the Orwellian definition, in my opinion. But we all have to be careful
not to use this metaphor too broadly.)

>a couple of foreign remailers on it's way. I am proud of the idea, but
>I appreciate those of you who know who I am keeping quiet about it, as
>I'm just being prudent, and extra cautious.
>The idea.....Out of state gambling, Internet style - lets give them a
>taste of whats to come.

As you note, the Internet Casino does this (they claim), becoming
operational "soon." Also, various sports books are accessible in offshore
locations, such as Costa Rica. Phone calls.

And the idea of betting on events and outcomes is already extant. Lloyd's
of London used to take such bets.

But more germane to the Internet, there are several groups working on "idea
futures." Robin Hanson, at Caltech, is working on this. And a Web page
exists with various odds on different situations, such as "Windows '95 will
be delayed 3 months" and "Strong crypto will be banned by April 1996."

Try a Web search on "bet" and "gambling." I did one on "bet" and got a hit
on "Proposition Wagering": http://www.netaxs.com/people/sportbet/prop.htm.
(I couldn't get into it, so your mileage may vary.)

>The aim in writing this short missive to cpunks is to encourage
>someone who is more able legally to help this idea happen.

It'll only happen when someone makes it happen. Thinking about it can also
be useful, as the actual programmers may not have the same focus, but
actual examples carry more weight.

We saw betting schemes on the Extropians list, a couple of years ago.
Fairly primitive, but an example.

>Any comments on the practical and legal issues (such as exactly what
>laws I'm violating) or on getting publicity for such a scheme? This
>might be easier than we think, as the media [at least the WSJ] is well
>aware of the bookie's superior accuracy & lower cost.

First, don't worry too much about remaining anonymous. Discussing an idea,
even building a system, is not the same as operating it. Folks publically
discuss and build  remailers, but operating them is another matter. (Yes,
folks here also operate remailers....).

Second, check out the "idea futures," "proposition wagering," and "betting"

Third, build on what these folks are doing. Or do it differently, but only
if your approach is superior.

Good luck!

--Tim May

Timothy C. May            | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected] (Got net?)  | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-728-0152              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Corralitos, CA            | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839    | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."