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World Wide Wagering?

Combine a love for video games, a fascination with computers, and the lure of big money, and what do you have? On-line casinos, what else?

In a society that seems ever more taken with gambling as a way of making money both for private pockets and public coffers, the marriage of gaming and on-line technology could seem inevitable.

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A number of small start-up companies are testing these waters - often from off-shore locations to avoid state regulations.

Some state law enforcers are trying to douse this business before it catches on. They are calling for federal intervention to restrict the use of the Internet by gambling enterprises. The feds, perhaps aware of how hard it has been to regulate other dubious Internet fare, such as pornography, haven't shown much interest.

But the prospect of on-line gambling operations is another red flag signaling the need for thoughtful regulation of Internet content and use at some level - whether governmental or the family.

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