|Congressman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has succeeded in tagging the controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act (H.R. 2143), onto the proposed 9/11 Bill. The Committee approved the legislation last week and passed it on to the Rules Committee where it will wait to be passed by Congress.|
Should the act become law it would outlaw all online gambling financial transactions in the US, including credit cards and wire transfers. The 9/11 Bill is aimed at implementing measures necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, such as those on the World Trade Center, from being able to happen again.
Oxley’s critics say he has hijacked an important cause, which he is exploiting to further his own personal political agenda. Oxley, however, claims that online casinos are ‘a safe haven for money laundering’ which could be used by terrorists. 'It is high time that Congress closes this loophole of online casinos to those with criminal and terrorist ties,' Oxley said.
Experts in Washington say, however, that HR2143 is unlikely to go all the way to the top, as the government is eager to ensure that the 9/11 Bill remains a concentrated piece of legislation, limiting add on clauses which simply muddy the waters.