Why is Gambling frowned upon or illegal?

There are the usual knee-jerk reasons: addiction, lose the rent etc.

What if you could win real money WITHOUT risking any… is that still gambling?

If the bad connotations are centered on losing money, BUT if there were no way to lose money, would that make gambling acceptable? Good? Great Opportunity?

Is that still gambling? Is that still addictive? Is that still risking the rent?

I bring this up because I was watching TV at 2am this morning and tuned into “The Big Game” sponsored by Pokerstars. The premise of the game is that one “ordinary, non-professional” guy plays poker against the pros. He is given $100k to play with and he/she gets to keep anything over the original stake.

Now, is that gambling? The “loose cannon” they call him isn’t risking any money of his own!

BUT THAT’S NOT MY REAL POINT HERE (but it sure is something to consider).

Here’s my REAL point:

At Pokerstars, there are 12 states in the USA that may NOT play in the freeroll games because the they award real money to the winners. That means, if you live in one of those states, you are banned from playing FREE poker at Pokerstars FOR REAL MONEY!

A “Freeroll game” is a game (usually a tournament) wherein one need not put up ANY money at all to join in the game.

Why? No risk! Not gambling?

Further, anyone is welcomed to play in their PLAY MONEY games.

Why? No risk! Not gambling?

Pokerstars advertises on TV that anyone could become a “loose cannon” on their TV show “The Big Game” by qualifying for FREE – online in a qualifying freeroll that’s run everyday.

But upon checking, I find that people living in those 12 states may NOT qualify for the TV show… even though it costs nothing to play in the freeroll qualifier games…

Because they’ve banned those states!

People in those states should unite and challenge Pokerstars’ stand on this.

So, my question again: Is it gambling (and illegal) IF there’s none of the USUAL arguments against gambling involved?

If one can play risk-free, but win something of value – is that gambling?

A Raffle is more risky (even if it’s only $1) – yet raffles are held even in those 12 states! Pokerstars charges NOTHING to join a Freeroll – why should anyone be banned from joining those?

Throw your business card in a bowl for a free lunch – that’s free with a valuable prize – and that’s OK! So, maybe it’s a matter of HOW MUCH the prize is worth.

During that show this morning, I watched a commercial for “Direct Buy”. They wanted me to give them my name for a drawing for $50,000.00 worth of furniture. Is THAT enough to make it gambling? Illegal? Frowned upon?

Dealerships hold drawings for free cars, Publisher’s Clearing House will give you $1,000,000.00 PLUS $5,000.00 a week for… your entry into the drawing! Is THAT enough to make it gambling? Illegal? Frowned upon?

In my humble opinion, Pokerstars is way out of line by banning certain states from their Freeroll Tournaments because those states don’t like gambling (btw – must I remind you that those same states embrace Horse Racing, Lotteries and even Casinos?)

Unite people – let Pokerstars know that you too deserve a chance at their TV show and the winnings that are possible. After all, you’re not risking a thing!

By Buzz B Berkeley
I love to write about Gambling and the inconsistencies in the USA. Inconsistencies in how the law is made, and how it’s enforced. My blog http://www.buzzongambling.com has been at the forefront in the fight to legalize gambling. Get your copy of my best selling book “Winning Craps Money” at http://www.winningcrapsmoney.com.