What if The House Rules?
We’ve all heard of tough house rules but today, Congress may make life very difficult for people who like to do their gaming online.
The House plans to vote on a bill to ban people using credit cards to pay for online bets and thus hamstring gambling websites. The legislation would dust off existing law and put in plain black and white that it’s illegal to gamble online.
To enforce the ban, the bill would prohibit credit cards and other payment forms like electronic transfers as well. Plus, it would give law enforcement authority to work in concert with internet providers to cease access to gambling websites.
Some opponents say the measure is laughable to think that policing the internet is possible, especially considering almost all of the online gambling industry is based outside the US. In their estimation, it would be better to regulate the multi-billion-dollar industry and collect taxes from it.
Other critics say that the bill is selective in what forms of gambling it wants to target, giving immunity to online lotteries and horse-race betting and focusing on other sports betting, casino games and card games like poker. Pro-sports leagues are generally for the bill, saying that web betting could undermine the integrity of sports.
"Somehow we find ourselves in a situation where Congress has gotten in the business of cherry-picking types of gambling," complained Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fl.
But other conservative and antigambling groups, sponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Jim Leach, R-Ia., can’t see a downside or inconsistencies.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is rallying support for the ban in the Senate where the gambling issue has not been debated yet this year.
Stay tuned to GOM to get the latest on this hotly contested issue.