A House Divided
By mark
The debate rages on in the US House of Representatives regarding the future of Internet Gambling in America. As Internet gambling revenues approach an anticipated $10 billion by 2005, representatives are divided over their next course of action.

Two divergent approaches have been tabled in the house of Representatives. The first is to ban online gambling completely, enforcing a prohibition much like the failed prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s. The other camp proposed additional investigation into online gaming to determine if it is detrimental to the American public, and to formulate a more effective way of controlling its operation.

The latest move in this political checker match was tabled by Representative Leach (R-IOWA) (H.R..21) earlier this week. The bill, which seeks to prevent online gambling by preventing its funding by bank instruments like credit cards, passed by a voice vote through the House Judiciary subcommittee will now be heard by the full committee.

At the same time, Representatives John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Howard Cannon (R-Utah) extol the virtues of the formation of a commission to analyse online gaming before recommending either its abolition or its regulation.

'State regulation will ensure gaming companies play fair and drive out dishonest operators,' he said. 'It also provides potential tax revenue for financially strapped states. Instead of a prohibition that will drive gambling underground and into the hands of unscrupulous merchants, Congress should examine the feasibility of strictly licensing and regulating the online gaming industry,' said Conyers.

Whatever the political outcome may be, many online gamblers believe that the genie is out of the bottle and online gambling is here to stay.

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