"Freedom: it's a tough sell, unless it's your own. "
-Steve Newton of Delaware Libertarian in an excellent post about sports betting, online poker, and the nanny state that must "protect us from ourselves."
As someone who played quite a few real money tourneys on Pokerstars and dabbled in a bit of online sports betting I fully support such "vices." I'll also support freedom of choice in other activities some may consider vices, because when you cut away all the bullshit rationalizations you're really left with only one central issue. Should people be able to do as they wish with their own money? (their own bodies etc. etc.?) The answer of course is yes.
Just because it may not be my cup of tea doesn't mean I should wish to prevent them from doing as they please.
On another note, I find Jason's assertion that sports betting and the lotto are a "regressive tax" on the poor to be baffling. Sports betting and lottery tickets are 100% voluntary expenditures, thus they cannot be considered a tax. Taxation carries with it the implicit threat of force as a means to compel payment. Using your money for entertainment does not have any coercive government force attached. It may be true that the poor spend a disproportionate amount of their earning on sports betting or the lotto, but that's their choice. Freedom of choice means that rich or poor, we're all free to make choices about how to spend our money. That means you're free to lose money at poker, I'm free to lose money at the strip joint, and Bob's free to lose money playing the Powerball.