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Online casinos face possible prohibition

The San Francisco Chronicle released an article recently that focuses on an online casinos bill, which may or may not be addressed in the Senate next month.
This online casinos bill is designed to prevent the use of payment instruments (credit cards, fund transfers, etc.) for certain forms of online casinos that are defined as “unlawful Internet gambling.” The online casinos bill requires financial institutions to identify and block payments related to so-called unlawful online casinos transactions. If there is a violation, the government may file a lawsuit (known as an injunction) to prevent or restrain the violation. The bill provides a special exemption for three types of online casinos: (1) horse racing under the Interstate Horse racing Act (IHA), so OTB's and account wagering systems can remain in business, (2) Indian gambling that takes place on a reservation or between two reservations; and (3) Internet gambling that occurs solely within a state’s own borders, referred to as Intra-state gambling.
The article said that inside the quiet San Francisco headquarters of the Poker Players Alliance, a political pro online casinos group that boasts 100,000 members, a laminated poster hangs above the desk of executive director Michael Bolcerek that reads "The Threat is Real."
In this case, the immediate threat to Bolcerek and his poker-playing and online casinos visiting army is the growing anti-gambling forces that argue the game is bad for American family values and want to remove it from the Internet. Despite online poker's rabid popularity -- the game now draws an estimated 23 million Americans to online casinos every day -- it has recently suffered some big-time legislative hits.
In June, citing concerns about underage gambling and illegal wagers, the Washington state legislature banned online casinos, including poker, making it the first state to effectively shut down virtual card rooms. And in July, the House of Representatives passed the Federal Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act that would prevent banks and credit card companies from processing payments to Internet gambling sites. Next month, the online casinos bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate, where it's already earned support from online gambling foes, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Hence, Bolcerek's need to remind visitors that the war on online casinos is no bluff.
"I wish they were just trying to regulate us or tax us," the gravely voiced Bolcerek said of his opponents. "But they really want us wiped out, gone."
"At the rate they are growing, they could become a legislative force to be reckoned with," said Anthony Cabot, an attorney who specializes in online casinos gaming law and is founder of the Internet Gaming Report, a newsletter that covers technology and online casinos gaming law. "Not as big as the NRA (the National Rifle Association), but when you think in terms of how many people play poker today, it's that kind of power that comes from a grassroots organization."
The net gambling industry remains as controversial as ever even today.

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