Congress Bans Internet Gambling
Special Report - October 2, 2006
Shortly before adjourning on September 30 for the fall election season, the U.S. Congress approved a final version of a measure outlawing Internet gambling. H.R. 4411Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, which was attached to an unrelated port security bill, unanimously passed the U.S. Senate early Saturday morning. The measure expands the federal Wire Act to account for new technologies like the Internet and prevents Internet gambling companies from accepting many forms of payment, including credit cards, checks, and wire transfers. The bill also gives law enforcement more authority to enforce the law and extends the maximum prison term for violation of the Act from two to five years. The U.S. House approved the same measure on July 11 in a 317 to 93 vote. President Bush is expected to sign H.R. 4411 into law.
The bill’s House sponsor, Congressman James Leach (RIA), issued a press release shortly after the measure’s approval citing a study (download pdf) by the Annenberg Public Policy Center that found that 850,000 18 to 22 year-olds gamble online at least once a month. “Researchers have called gambling online addictive,” he said. “Players attest to becoming obsessed with it…Some have suggested that there is no call to rein in the activities of individual choice. But misjudgments affect society as a whole. There is nothing in Internet gambling that adds to the GDP or makes America more competitive in the world. Indeed, if an individual cannot repay his or her credit card debts, neighbors will be subject to higher interest rates. Everyone loses if this industry continues its remarkable growth trends.”
Copyright © 2006. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.