Lift On USA Online Gambling Ban Sans Sports

Published Thursday, May 07, 2009 -

The U.S. Department of Treasury will hold the rules accountable in the new proposed Internet gambling bill put forth by the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, and the U.S. Treasury Department's Peter King. The legislation will give the Treasury secretary the power to issue and revoke licenses of Internet gambling web sites in an effort to preserve American free choice. The U.S. Treasury Department will charge big fees to secure and maintain a gambling license, in addition to mechanisms that collect and redistribute state and local taxes.

Mr.Frank was quoted, "This is, I believe, the single biggest example of an intrusion into the principle that people should be free to do things on the Internet. It's clearly the case that gambling is an activity that can be done offline but not online."

Detractors to the proposition now finally before lawmakers had their say. Rep. Spencer Bachus said, "If you put a computer in a teenager's bedroom, or in a student's dorm room at college, it's a temptation that many fall prey to,"

In reaction, Frank said, "The notion that a society should prohibit something entirely because of the possibility that children will abuse it is a terrible blow to liberty," Mr Frank also said that, "The bill will include safeguards and will prevent illegal activity and underage, compulsive gambling. The internet gambling operator will be required to confirm that people who place bets are of legal age, regulate gambling activity, protect privacy, and combat compulsive internet gambling and money laundering."

The bill specifically excludes sports wagering, as a political nod to the sports people who feel that that's a good idea. Head of the European Remote Gambling Association Clive Hawkswood, said, "Ideally we would want sports betting to be included because it is as capable of being regulated," "but we appreciate that politically it is much more problematic and it is safe to assume that after taking sounding from public opinion Barney Frank believes it to be a bridge too far."

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