By Jaron Zanerhaft
On Friday, the FBI shut down three of the largest internet gambling
sites to cater to US citizens. Online gambling has been illegal for
years, yet as addicts of any type know, legality is only a speed bump
to accomplishing the goals of an addiction. And American money is
certainly no exception. The FBI has issued a lawsuit requiring the
forfeiture of $3 billion among the three websites seized, funds
accumulated by money laundering.
Online gambling does so much more harm than providing all but untraceable means for money laundering. It harms the soul of the individual participating at least as much as it harms his pocketbook. An isolating, coaxing tunnel towards one of the worst forms of
addiction, online gambling grants only the anonymity of losing oneself.
Strangely, I believe that the anonymity of this digital lawless terrain feeds hungry gambling addictions. But it is not the same anonymity that the voice of recovery preaches. In cyberspace, you can be someone who is nothing like your real self, you can let go of all the natural inhibitions that hold your conscience in check, but even if you try to be yourself, the limitations of interpersonal contact (no facial expressions, no voice infliction) necessitate at least a minor identity separation. Still, the anonymity that comes with fraud
does not achieve the purpose of real anonymity.
I think that the value of anonymity comes from shifting the focus from yourself and your reputation to the subjects of your deeds. When it doesn’t matter that you are the one who did a kind act, only that the act was done, you become grateful for being in a position to help. Even if you commit a harmful act anonymously, knowing that more evil
has been brought into the world because of you wares at your conscience. Without an ego getting in the way of your decisions, you will easily and gracefully be lead down a decent path. Do you have the strength to act justly without seeking credit?
- Poker websites shut down by FBI in probe that could end online gambling (dailymail.co.uk)
- Feds charge online gambling sites with fraud, bankers still untouched (americablog.com)