Recently, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 4411-The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) to prevent the use of certain payment instruments, credit cards, and fund transfers for unlawful Internet gambling. This bill ammends the 1961 Wire Act that bans telephone sports wagering except for state-sanctioned horse racing and lotteries.
It also would direct the Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Federal Reserve) to issue regulations outlining policies and procedures that could be used by financial institutions to identify and block gambling-related transactions that are transmitted through their payment systems. Compliance with those prohibitions and regulations would be enforced by various federal agencies as well as state governments, and violations would be subject to new civil remedies and criminal penalties. Finally, the bill would require the Secretary of the Treasury to report annually to the Congress on any international deliberations regarding Internet gambling.
"States have always had the right to approve and regulate gambling within their borders," bill sponsor Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said. "This bill makes Internet gambling illegal except where regulated by the states."
Democrats complained the "carve outs" for online horse racing and lotteries underscored the "hypocrisy" of the legislation.
"Millions of Americans will continue to gamble with offshore sites," Shell[e]y Berkley (D-Nev.) said.
"This bill makes (gambling) illegal simply because they do it online. It's ridiculous to think this will stop online gaming."
This legislation will come into force upon President Bush's signature, which is expected to be provided in the near future, and made into law 270 days thereafter.
Maybe just - Legalize it. Regulate it. Tax it.