|Internet casinos, online gamblers and their Internet providers (ISPs) could all face felony charges and prison sentences in Indiana under a bill slated to be considered today by a state Senate committee. |
'Internet gambling is completely unregulated. It's pretty insidious,' said Sen. David Ford, R-Hartford City, sponsor of the legislation. 'It's a very difficult problem to get your arms around.'
The Senate Economic Development and Technology Committee is scheduled to consider the bill today. The full Senate passed a similar measure last year, which died in the House.
Internet gambling already is illegal in Indiana under the federal Interstate Wire Act, which prohibits using telephone lines or other wire communications to place bets, said Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter. The US Justice Department has issued a similar opinion to Nevada legislators, but a federal appeals court has ruled the Wire Act does not apply to Internet gambling.
Carter and Ford agree that the law does not provide state prosecutors with specific legal instruments to combat the online casino industry.
'Any time the Legislature addresses a matter and declares something a crime, it becomes clearer to the public that that's the case,' Carter told The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky.