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House passes bill to ban Internet gambling

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved a bill [HR 4411 text] to effectively ban most Internet gambling by a margin of 317-93 [roll call]. The legislation would prohibit people from using credit cards and other forms of Internet payments to settle Internet bets, and also allow law enforcement and Internet providers to block access to gambling websites. Bill supporters believe that the Internet makes gambling too easy, and leads to gambling addictions and financial problems. Opponents argue that tax revenues from Internet gambling would serve a better purpose than a ban, and that the bill favors some gambling industries over others.

The bill includes exemptions for Internet gambling on horse racing as well as state lotteries, though Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) sponsored a failed amendment to remove the exemptions [press release]. Under the horse racing provision, betting operators will not be prohibited from activities allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act [text], which set up rules for interstate betting on horse racing in the 1970s. The bill now moves to the Senate, where Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) [official website] said Tuesday that he plans to aggressively pursue the bill [press release] on the Senate floor. AP has more.

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