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  1. #1
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    Professor is offline In Memoriam, 1963-2010
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    Default Good News for Casino Affiliates

    This was featured on MSN and distributed by Reuters:

    WASHINGTON--An effort to ban Internet-based gambling was slowed Thursday by opponents who said the bill would hurt dog tracks, intrude on people's private lives and lead to excessive regulation of the global computer network.
    The debate in the House or Representatives Judiciary Committee showed the difficulty of trying to pass a bill that would ban the unregulated, offshore gambling sites without stepping on the toes of the established, highly regulated domestic gambling industry.

    A Florida congressman said dog-racing and jai alai operations in his district would be hurt because the bill favors horse racing, while another lawmaker from Utah said he did not think the Internet should be saddled with burdensome regulations.

    Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank questioned whether the government should regulate something adults did voluntarily.

    "If American citizens or legal residents want to gamble, let them. Why do you care?" Frank said.

    For the second time in a row, the committee adjourned without voting on the bill.

    State law-enforcement groups have pushed for a federal law to ban the 1,500 or so offshore gambling operations that will take in between $5 billion and $6.4 billion next year, according to estimates. States have traditionally regulated--and taxed--gambling operations within their borders.

    Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte's bill would update the Wire Act of 1961, which bans interstate wagers, so that it would clearly apply to the Internet and other modern communications as well as telephone lines.

    A separate Goodlatte-sponsored bill failed to pass the House in the summer of 2000.

    Credit cards and banner ads
    Goodlatte's current bill would allow law-enforcement agents to take down gambling sites and banner ads, and stop credit-card payments to sites operating outside of the country. Some credit-card firms, burned by unpaid debts, have lately been blocking payments to online casinos of their own accord.

    The bill would also kill efforts by Nevada casinos to set up state-approved Web sites, because it would require all visitors to be of legal age and situated within the state's borders--an impossible situation to verify, Goodlatte said.

    "There is absolutely no way to know if the person at the other end of the computer line is a minor or not," he said.

    The bill has grown in complexity as it has made its way from introduction to subcommittee to the full Judiciary Committee, trying to accommodate the many forms of legalized gambling supported in different states.

    Goodlatte has had to carve out exemptions for state lotteries, off-track betting for horse and dog racing, and fantasy-sports leagues.

    "If you want to address the offshore sites, you've got to walk this tightrope of not stepping on the toes of all the legal entities and not stepping on the toes of the states," Goodlatte told reporters after the hearing.

    At the hearing, Florida Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler said the bill favored horse-racing operations at the expense of dog racing and jai alai, both of which exist in his district.

    Goodlatte responded that any advantages enjoyed by horse racing were due to separate bills already passed in Congress, and Wexler's effort to right that imbalance had no place in his bill.

    After a half hour of debate, Wexler's effort to make the bill more favorable to dog-track and jai alai operators failed by one vote.

    Utah Republican Rep. Chris Cannon also criticized the bill for its heavy-handed approach and its many exceptions, while Frank said it could provide a precedent for states to tax online sales, a contentious issue last year that was opposed by many Republicans.


  2. #2
    VPJunkie is offline Private Member
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    Thank you, Professor!!!

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