Fortune-tellers of Los Angeles, relax: your future is safe from unwanted government regulation, but you probably knew that anyway.
Los Angeles police commissioners have rejected a proposal to regulate the fortune-telling industry by requiring soothsayers, Tarot card readers, psychics and the like to obtain government licences.
Commissioner Rick Caruso says the commission rejected the idea because issuing licences would have the unintended effect of misleading consumers into believing that "these people are somehow qualified to practise their trade".
The proposed law was modelled after a similar one adopted in San Francisco.
It was suggested by vice squad police who say they get about 50 complaints a year about tricks practised by those who claim to consort with spirits.
Police said the average loss per victim was $5,000 but the true number of shakedowns was not known because victims are sometimes too embarrassed to admit being taken.
Unlike the San Francisco law, which bans fortune-tellers from performing certain tricks that require customers to hand over "cursed" money, the Los Angeles ordinance would have required those who traffic in the mystical for profit to get a licence and post their rates and complaint procedures.
The plan could also have had serious repercussions for those who rely on the powers of darkness - soothsaying would have been banned from midnight to 7am.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2004 ... 169773.htm