US Senate turns up heat on Internet gambling again
By Paul
Internet gambling has once again come under fire from the US senate, as lawmakers again seek a ban on online gambling in order to clamp down on money laundering in the wake of September 11, according to

House Financial Services Committee Chairman and former FBI agent Michael Oxley told the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee yesterday that Internet gambling and credit card fraud are still vital means of disguising the paper trail that leads to terrorists.

Oxley said the FBI is aware that credit card fraud is 'used extensively in Internet gambling and to transact business through unregulated offshore secrecy havens.

'At a minimum, credit card associations should be required to implement anti-money laundering programs, as mandated for all financial institutions in the PATRIOT Act,' he added.

House Financial Services Committee Ranking Democrat John LaFalce said that the government needs to 'have a much better handle on (Internet gambling). The problem is growing astronomically,” adding 'If we don't deal with that issue, we're going to have unbelievable money laundering taking place globally.”

So far, federal attempts to ban online gambling have failed, although two Internet gambling bills are circulating in the House during the current session of Congress. H.R. 556, introduced by Rep. James Leach, prohibits banks and individuals from accepting credit cards, checks or electronic funds transfers as payment for most forms of Internet gambling. That bill won approval in the Financial Services Committee after receiving an amendment that would exempt Internet service providers and telecom companies from being considered gambling entities.

Another anti-gambling bill, H.R. 3215, introduced by Rep. Robert Goodlatte, gives U.S. attorneys general the power to require financial institutions to refuse transactions for online gaming. It would become illegal for banks and individuals to knowingly accept credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfer as payment for Internet gambling.

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