John Stossel

"Ninety-nine percent of the American public has no problem with gambling," Bloch says. "They should have the freedom to gamble if they want to gamble online. There is no casino that is being forced into people's homes."

By the way, Hills said he'd oppose legal gambling even if it weren't associated with wrecked lives. Why? "Gambling is the art and the science of deception that feeds on the exploitation of human weakness for the sole purpose of monetary gain."

To that, I say, so what? Will they ban the stock market next? Filmmaking is the art and science of deception. Poker is just a game where deception and bluffing are the skills.

For self-responsible adults, gambling can be fun and harmless. A free country is supposed to treats adults as though we are self-responsible. Government should let us learn from our mistakes rather than treat us like children.

Despicably, while government outlaws private gambling (at least that which competes with the well-connected casino interests), it runs its own gambling operations: state lotteries. And what a scam they are! States offer terrible odds. The evil casinos take about 1.4 percent of each bet at the craps table. State lotteries take 50 percent of each bet. Compounding the damage, states spend tax money to promote their lotteries to the poor, who are led to believe that the lottery, rather than hard work, is the route to becoming millionaires. Rich people buy few tickets.

So governments push their own inferior games while outlawing better ones run by private business. That's insane. People gamble anyway, criminals get involved, and by forcing Internet gambling offshore, America loses a $12 billion industry.

In "On Liberty," John Stuart Mill wrote, "Over himself and over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

Sovereign. Hear that, busybody politicians?

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate