Costa Rica has made several efforts to make their country
an attractive locale for online gaming sites. So what do the local authorities do when Bodog set up a poker reality show
in San Jose? Why, send 100 cops to kick in the door and bust up the game, of course.
When this story first
hit the wires a few days ago, my first thought was, "this is a shake down, because the Bodog guys didn't pay off
the right officials." My second thought was, "Wait. No. This was during the filming of a reality television
show. I bet this whole thing was set up." I suspect that the truth, should it ever come out, is somewhere in
between the two: the Costa Rican power players surely want to get paid off by Canada's latest billionaire, Calvin Ayre
. At the same time, I'm sure the massive police raid made
for some fantastic and dramatic television, which helps spread Bodog's outlaw lifestyle brand. Bill Rini has some excellent thoughts on
the raid, over at his blog
: "Now, I’m not attempting to suggest that Costa Rica is a bad place (the
scuba diving is some of the best in the world). The State Dept. information above refers specifically to San Jose, the
capital. But it does show that billionaires playing poker in their own homes is not a 100 cop sort of incident.
It’s like a food cart vendor in Tijuana getting busted by 100 cops for a health code violation. No, this is more
of a case where a law exists on the books so politicians and law enforcement use the most liberal reading of the law in
order to promote their own agendas. They’re acting like America!!"
Acting like America,
indeed. As many of you know, there is a bill before congress right now which would criminalize online gaming, including
online poker. That bill is being cynically presented as vital to national security, and to protect The Children®.
But, like the Costa Rican raid, it's equal parts shakedown and theatre: Congress wants the online gaming sites
to play ball and start lavishing them with lobbyist dollars, and douchebag Congressmen like its sponsor Rep. Goodlatte
(R-VA 6) need to send out press releases which play to thier base and deflect attention away from what a miserable
failure Congress has been in the last five years.
As Bill says, "Either way, the laws are being
used to benefit those in power rather than to protect the interests of the people. And that is the biggest crime of
all."Image of the Bodog Girls from Bodognation. You're welcome.