|Indiana has passed a bill that would make it a felony to promote illegal Internet gambling. The bill was approved Monday by the Senate's Economic Development and Technology Committee.|
The bill, proposed by Sen. David Ford, R-Hartford City, would not increase penalties for Internet gambling, which includes online sports betting and playing at online casinos. Such offenses already are a class B misdemeanor.
Instead, the bill targets radio advertisers and Internet pop-up adds for online gambling sites.
'You can play in the middle of the night, you can max out everything you have and there's no way to regulate it,' said Ford, chairman of the committee. 'I know enforcement may be difficult, but I think it's an effort we need to make.'
Those who promote Internet gambling would be subject to a Class D felony conviction under the bill. Enforcement would fall to local prosecutors. It is unclear whether Internet Service providers that host the advertisements will be also liable under the law.
The bill will now move to the Senate. Last year the Senate passed a similar bill, but it died in the House of Representatives.
The bill was supported Monday by the Indiana Coalition Against Legalized Gambling and the American Family Association of Indiana.
Members of the Senate committee questioned law enforcement's ability to regulate Internet gambling, but passed the bill 10-0.