TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: House Panel Approves Bill to Ban Cyber-gambling

House Panel Approves Bill to Ban Cyber-gambling

Reuters News Wire (
Wed, 3 May 2006 22:19:44 -0500

A House of Representatives subcommittee on Wednesday approved a bill
that would ban Internet gambling, estimated to be a $12 billion

The legislation would update and expand an existing federal law to
cover all forms of interstate gambling within the United States, and
would bar a gambling business from accepting payment in the form of
credit cards, checks, wire and Internet transfers. It would also
prohibit gambling on an estimated 2,300 Internet gambling sites.

Shares of some British-based gaming companies fell on news that the
bill had progressed another step. PartyGaming Plc and 888 Holdings
tumbled about 5 percent each on the London Stock Exchange.

The bill was approved on a voice vote by the House Judiciary
subcommittee on crime. It will go to the full committee for

However, it remains unclear whether the legislation will reach floor
votes in the House and Senate. Congress has a relatively short
schedule this year because of the November congressional elections.

"Virtual betting parlors have attempted to avoid the application of
United States law by locating themselves offshore and out of our
jurisdictional reach," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (news, bio, voting
record), a Virginia Republican who wrote the bill. The offshore
companies use Internet sites that are "unlicensed, untaxed and
unregulated," he said.

Under U.S. law, interstate gambling over telephone wires is illegal
and other gambling is banned unless regulated by the states.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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