Committee Approves Limits on Online Gambling
The House Judiciary Committee approved
legislation to toughen U.S. laws against Internet gambling,
clearing the way for consideration by the full House of
The committee voted 25-11 to approve the Internet Gambling
Prohibition Act sponsored by Representative Bob Goodlatte, a
Virginia Republican, and prepared to support a second measure,
the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, sponsored by Jim
Leach, an Iowa Republican.
The Bush administration Justice Department supports the proposed
legislation. Online gambling's legal status in the U.S. is
unclear under current law. The Justice Department interprets a
1961 law against using telephone lines to place interstate bets
as prohibiting online gambling. Goodlatte said his bill would
make that explicit.
The Goodlatte measure would force U.S. financial institutions to
cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities in shutting
down illegal gambling sites based outside the U.S. The measure
exempts horse racing, fantasy sports betting and state lotteries
in the U.S.
Leach's measure would make it unlawful for credit-card companies
to collect payments for transactions with online-gaming sites.