|Although several attempts have been made by different lawmakers, Internet gambling prohibition measures have failed each year, while the industry continues to gain more ground with the American public. Now, with the rise of Internet poker fueling the fire, many Washington insiders believe that it will be impossible to tell Americans that the activity is illegal. With such high-profile issues like the continuing war in Iraq, Social Security overhaul, and heightened tensions between both parties in Congress right now, it is not very likely that an anti-online gambling bill would make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Nevertheless, that did stop Senator John Kyl (R.-AZ) from preparing to introduce the 2005 version of his Internet gambling legislation; the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2005. |
Like previous versions of the bill, this new version would still make it illegal to fund online gambling transactions, but this version fails to define legal and illegal gambling activity. However, unlike previous versions, the bill is free of exemptions for Internet horse wagering, and state sponsored and regulated gambling like past versions have contained. Notably, the last exemption-free gambling funding prohibition bill, introduced in 2000 by Rep. Jim Leach (R.-IA), was ultimately killed by special interest groups seeking exemptions.
The lack of previously-included exemptions in this bill, bodes ill for its chances of success, however given the increasingly conservative nature of U.S. lawmakers, anything is possible.
Lawrence G. Walters, Esq., is a partner in the national law firm of Weston Garrou & DeWitt, with offices in Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Mr. Walters represents clients involved in all aspects of online gaming operations. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please contact your personal attorney with specific legal questions. Mr. Walters can be reached at Larry@LawrenceWalters.com