|A U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee today marks up legislation designed to further curb Internet gambling by barring banks from accepting credit cards, checks or fund transfers as payments for most forms of online gaming. |
The House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee will mark up H.R. 3215, a bill offered by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that would give U.S. attorneys general the power to force financial institutions to refuse transactions for online gaming. The measure also would make it illegal for banks, and individuals, to knowingly accept credit cards, checks or electronic funds transfers as payment for Internet gambling.
The bill strengthens civil and criminal penalties. Fines and up to five years in prison are included. In addition, it allows federal and state attorneys general to lodge lawsuits against Internet gambling operators. The bill also contains carve-outs for 'educational games' and 'games of skill,' such as fantasy sports leagues.
Many federal lawmakers agree that Internet gambling is a pernicious activity that should be banned, yet efforts to pass legislation to ban or scale back the industry so far have failed.
Goodlatte's bill is very similar to legislation sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Ranking Democrat John LaFalce, D-N.Y., The Financial Services Committee approved that measure only after adding a provision that would give Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom companies limited liability exemption.
The Goodlatte bill is at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.03215