|The state senate has passed a bill “meant to curb online gambling by targeting the operators of illegal casino Web sites and the Internet service providers that make them available to Hoosiers [Indiana citizens].” |
Senate Bill 71 passed 49-1 in a legislative body considered by political experts of be among the most conservative in the country, be the state senators Democrats or Republicans. The measure, if enacted, would make the operation of gambling websites a felony if they are accessible to Indiana residents. This scenario would raise certain questions regarding the Constitutional rights of American gambling website operators operating from other states (although they would probably not be at risk of being extradited by their own states for committing a crime “in” Indiana). However, such out-of-state offenders would be served notice that they are committing a crime according to Indiana law, and unless they dismantle their sites, or block Indiana Internet users from access, within 30 days, local Indiana prosecutors could file charges against them, according to the passionate author of the bill, Senator David Ford, a Republican serving Hartford City, Indiana.
The bill now moves to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
“`All of this (Internet gambling) is unregulated. We can't tax it. We can't control it,'’ said Ford, who added: “...Internet gambling already is illegal in Indiana under the federal Interstate Wire Act, which prohibits betting using telephone lines or other wire communications. But state law gives prosecutors few tools to combat it...”