House Passes Internet Anti-Gambling Bill

Conservatives in Congress continue to attempt to go after Internet gambling (well, at least some Internet gambling), this time around overwhelmingly passing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The bill would essentially make most online gambling illegal, and enforce that by going after financial institutions that process payments to gambling websites and Internet Service Providers that host such sites.

This mimics the approach used by New York Attorney General, who went after PayPal and Citibank and reached settlements with both that ended up denying their customers around the country (not just New York, where all gambling except the state lottery and some horse betting is illegal).

The House bill is a clear example of hypocrisy about gambling in general, in that it does contain an exemption for betting on horse racing over the Internet, just as most states that outlaw sports betting or other forms of gambling are perfectly happy to create state lotteries and encourage people to gamble on the outcome of random number draws (which has to be the most pathetic form of gambling imaginable).

The only upside to the House bill is that there is almost no chance the Senate will take it up before the elections which means it is essentially DOA.

The full text of the anti-gambling bill can be read here.


House votes yes on Net-gambling crackdown. Declan McCullagh, CNET News.Com, July 11, 2006.

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