U.S. Representatives Call for LIFT of the Gambling Ban

06 September 2007

Newspaper

U.S. Representatives Call for LIFT of the Gambling Ban

September 6, 2007

This could very well lead to the ‘lift’ of the gambling ban for the U.S.

U.S. Representatives Steve Israel (Democrat) and Pete King (Republican) representing Long Island, New Jersey have recently submitted an editorial to the New York Post, calling for an end to the “misdirected… also probably unenforceable” ban on Internet Gambling in the US.

Under “Web Gambling: Tax, Don’t Ban” they promote instead The Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, which uses fines and revokes licenses for web sites that don’t sufficiently police against improper use by minors or problem gamblers. As reported last April, the act was introduced by the chairman of U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank.

Israel and King feel the Act would “create a regulatory framework that ensures operators are licensed and protects consumers against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money-laundering, identity theft and fraud”.

As reported in the Cleveland Leader, the fear is that the ban may lead to people gambling without legal or technological protections which could potentially protect them against fraud and ensure age-verification.

Israel and King refer to Britain’s legal and regulatory framework as an example, where age verification technology checks ensure that gamblers are of age and are not problem gamblers and watch lists work to prevent money-laundering.

A strong comparison is made between the music industry ignoring consumer demand for online song access and the subsequent blossoming of a massive piracy industry, and the U.S. ban pushing “the business off U.S. shores and out of the hands of scrupulous businesses”, where it’s more difficult to enforce protection for the player.

Their call, as the Cleveland Leader points out, could well be heard coming up to election time in 2008. With co-sponsorshop by both a Republican and Democrat representative, the bill seems to be in with a chance of success. We’ll wait and see.

Could this mean the UIGEA may be lifted by 2008?

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