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Leach Anti-Internet-Gambling Bill Unlikely To Pass Congress

by Leroy James, Tax-News.com, New York

23 October 2002


It now seems very unlikely that the 107th US Congress will enact a law to ban Internet gambling. Although the House of Representatives passed HR 556, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act of 2002, on a voice vote earlier in the month, it has made no progress in the Senate, which has now adjourned to allow Senators to canvass for the upcoming congressional elections.

The legislation, sponsored by Representative James Leach (R - Iowa), is described as an attempt: 'To prevent the use of certain bank instruments for unlawful Internet gambling, and for other purposes,' and would make it illegal to use credit cards or any form of electronic payment for the illegal offshore activity.

The Senate recessed last Thursday, and will reconvene only briefly in November to work on specific issues like the Homeland Security bill. At the moment, there is no plan to consider the Leach bill. Unless Mr Leach is successful in attaching the language of his bill to a larger bill, the whole process will have to start again in the next Congress.

The truth is that this legislation is not vote-winning material, except in some very narrowly-defined sectors of the populace, and if it is to succeed will have to be slipped past the legislature when there is no big political contest in the offing. In a recent CNN poll asking: “Should gambling on the Internet be banned?” 76% voted against, with only 24% voting yes.

A comprehensive report on the online gambling situation in a number of offshore jurisdictions is available in the Tax-News Reports shop at http://www.tax-news.com/reportshop/

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