Utah, Hawaii Forced Into Gambling?
By dave
U.S. House of Representatives’ overwhelming passage, June 10, of new restrictions on Internet casino wagering includes a provision that would “make it legal for Utah residents to place bets on horse races or buy lottery tickets online in violation of the state ban on all forms of gambling.”

“The bill directs the Federal Trade Commission and federal banking regulators to draw up rules requiring credit card companies to block payment of electronic money transactions or personal checks for Internet gambling, something the banking industry desires since customers sometimes refuse to pay charges submitted by offshore cybercasinos,” the Tribune report states. But the bill also sanctions, in effect, established gambling, such as horse and dog track betting and the purchase of lottery tickets -- online as well as off line.

The Tribune report goes on to say that “U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, and other backers failed on a 186-237 vote to remove a provision that permits electronic funds transfers with state-authorized gambling businesses, such as a lottery and horse racing or dog racing. ‘Leaving such a “carve out” exemption in federal law would supersede the state laws of Utah and Hawaii that prohibit all forms of legalized gambling,’ Congressman Cannon said.

But a majority from his own Republican Party opposed Cannon's amendment. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Spencer Bachus, a Republican from Alabama, warned that “striking the state-licensed exemption would kill the bill in the Senate, which must still pass it to become law,” the Tribune said.

U.S. Representative Bob Goodblatte, a Republican from Virginia and an advocate against online gambling, said “This doesn't open up Utah to new forms of gambling, it will tighten it up. Utahans are pulling up a chair and placing bets online right now with illegal, casino-style Web sites based outside the United States...”

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