Connecting the Dots: Pamela Anderson, “Murder, She Wrote,” eBay, and PayPal

by Lou on May 3, 2006

Former Baywatch gal Pamela Anderson, who is getting a bit long in the tooth for an A-List sex symbol, just signed on to represent an online poker site. That led me to speculate that poker sites might just become the new dumping ground for washed-up stars, never were wannabees, and other Hollywood C-listers looking for one, last, fleeting fifteen minutes of fame.

Do you remember Murder, She Wrote? Every week they had a guest star whose best days had come and gone. It was a veritable “What ever happened to” where fading — and faded — personalities could be seen once again, before fading into complete oblivion.

I wonder if that’s what’s happening to Pamela Anderson. Personally, I hope online poker is NOT her last role. Like most guys, I’m still wishing she’ll reprise her best, and probably most watched role: the very low budget home movie filmed in the confines of her bedroom with hubby Tommy Lee.

But nothing Pamela could do is as offensive as the blatant hypocrisy and hubris of eBay and its subsidiary Pay Pal. In a note to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), (Mr. Goodlatte’s proposed legislation has been the subject of numerous posts on this blog), eBay executive Brian Bieron congratulated Rep. Goodlatte on the bill he authored to cripple online poker and gambling

Before its merger with eBay, PayPal was the leading financial intermediary for transacting business with online poker rooms. In 2002 they were investigated by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. It seemed like a shakedown to me at the time, but PayPal caved in like a sinkhole and agreed to pay a $200,000 fine as quid pro quo for Spitzer’s office dropping the investigation. Whether as a result of Spitzer’s shakedown or their new relationship with eBay, PayPal stopped processing all online gambling transactions until recently.

While eBay exec Bieron is kissing up to Rep Goodlatte and singing his own anti-gambling rhetoric back to him, PayPal is busily trying to whip up business with European online gaming firms.

Now, if eBay thinks gambling is wrong and they honestly believe Goodlatte’s legislation is the way to attack this “societal issue,” I understand that. But if they do that gambling is an evil that needs to be stamped out, then why is PayPal working as a financial intermediary for UK-based Betfair and Ladbrokes by allowing gamblers and poker players in the UK to deposit and withdraw funds?

C’mon, PayPal and eBay. Riddle me that.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: