The unfortunate Mr Anurag Dikshit has lost $300 million dollar but manage to keep out of jail because he was one of the main shareholder of Party Gaming a pioneer in online poker <Link 1>.
What was he doing to have suffered such an ordeal? Well he facilitated US citizens the chance to play poker online, which apparently under US Law (The Interstate Wire Act of 1961) is illegal. When this law came in it was to stop bookies taking telephone bets on sports such as football and horse racing and was not designed to stop online poker, which obviously was not even a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee eye.
Now anyone with even a passing knowledge of poker realise that there is a big difference between playing poker and having a double on the first two favourites at Churchill Downs. In fact poker can be seen more as chess for the psychology student than gambling. You can gamble, but, that is no more different than deciding which direction the FTSE will move.
Now why is this important? Well the US is the spear of capitalism and poker is the ‘house game’ for capitalist. In fact it is the purest form of capitalism and is so ingrained into the Us of A psyche that over 80 million play poker every week. In fact a number of Presidents were well known poker players and this includes the President presumptive Barack Obama!
This ludicrous situation must now be rectify, not because Mr Dikshit will be bankrupt by this ruling – he is the 207th richest man in the world, but because in an age where people have virtual relationships with people over the world, what more does a good capitalist need but to have the whole world playing poker?
Anyway, according to Wikipedia the US Supreme court has yet to rule on online gambling <Link 2> and us poor feeble minded individuals await its ruling with relish since it will indicate whether the US is a nanny state or not,