This is the first part of a series of articles on proposed anti-gambling legislation. This article will discuss the proposed legislation, the claims of politicians, the facts regarding the current state and the actual proposals.
Or are legislators trying to protect us? It all seems a bit confusing, to be honest.
Both the Senate and the House are examining the issue of “Online Gambling” once more. The Senate and Congressmen Goodlatte, Leach, as well as Senator Kyl submitted bills.
Rep. Goodlatte’s bill aims to update the Wire Act in order to ban all forms of online gambling. It also makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit or electronic transfers. Common Carriers and ISPs are required to block access from gambling-related sites upon request by law enforcement.
Internet Gambling makes
As Rep. Goodlatte does, Senator Kyl’s bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling makes it illegal for gambling companies to accept credit cards and electronic transfers. However, his bill doesn’t address placing bets.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is the bill that Rep. Leach submitted. It is basically a duplicate of the bill Sen. Kyl submitted. The bill, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is a copy of the Kyl bill. It prohibits gambling businesses accepting checks and credit cards.
Rep. Goodlatte stated that while gambling is illegal in the United States, unless it is regulated by the state governments, gambling has become more accessible thanks to the internet. Illegal gambling businesses can operate unregulated until they are stopped by law enforcement.
The Wire Act only makes Sports Betting illegal in the United States, and that is only for those who are connected to the internet via telephone lines. While online gambling is not illegal in most states, there are some states and Tribes that have made efforts to legalize it. Even the Federal Government recognizes certain forms of online gambling as legal.
illegal gambling by updating
Goodlatte says that his bill “cracksdown on illegal gambling by updating and accounting for new technologies in the Wire Act to include all forms of interstate gaming and cover all forms.” It is not clear whether the Internet is legal for gambling businesses to be operated under current federal law.
Goodlatte’s bill does not cover all forms interstate gambling as he claims. Instead, it creates exemptions for some forms of online gambling like state lotteries and bets on horseracing. Although his amendments to the Wire Act don’t make online gambling illegal they make it illegal to allow gambling businesses to accept online wagers in which a person is willing to risk something of value “upon a contest of other, a sporting event or a game primarily subject to chance”, excluding if it’s a state lottery or horse race, fantasy sport, or one of several other situations.
Truth is, most online gambling companies have moved to other countries in order to avoid the US’ current gray area. This means that there is very little law enforcement can do about these laws. It will not make it easier to enforce the laws by making them more difficult to follow and imposing harsher penalties.
Due to federal pressure, many banks and credit card companies won’t transfer money to online gambling businesses right now. Alternative payment methods were created to fill this void.
His statements by Senator Kyl are equally misleading. According to his bill, Internet gambling is primarily funded by personal use of payment systems instruments, credit cards and wire transfers. As we all know, the majority of American credit cards refuse to allow gambling accounts to be funded.
According to the Kyl bill, Internet gambling is a growing problem for debt collection at insured depository institutions as well as the consumer credit sector. How can gambling be allowed to be funded by credit card companies or other financial institutions in America? Why do we need legislation to ensure that the financial industry is protected from high-risk debt? Wouldn’t it be better if the financial industry stopped accepting gambling debts if they were becoming a problem?
Rep. Leach (and Senator Kyl) have created exemptions for betting on horse races, fantasy sports, and buying and selling securities. However, unlike Rep. Goodlatte, Rep. Leach & Senator Kyl don’t exempt state lotteries form their ban on online gambling.
The next article will cover the issues that politicians have raised about online gambling and offer a different perspective.