ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING HOUSE BILL SURFACES
Is this another element in a last-minute push to bring back the Wire Act?
News reports from Washington DC indicate that another anti-online gambling bill has surfaced at a time when speculation is rife that anti-online gambling factions are planning a fresh political assault in the closing "lame duck" days of the 114th US Congress.
The new bill is from the little known Pennsylvanian Republican Party Representative Michael Fitzpatrick, who’s proposed HB6453 is co-sponsored by Illinois Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush and Pennsylvania Republican Representative Charles Dent.
HB 6453 seeks to “clarify the effect” of the September 2011 US Department of Justice legal opinion which supported states' rights to make their own decisions regarding online gambling within their borders, with the exception of online sports betting, which was specifically outlawed by the Wire Act 1961.
The opinion, rendered in response to requests from Illinois and New York regarding the possible legality of internet lottery sales, cleared up ambiguities that had plagued the industry for decades in which the 1961 Wire Act was used by enforcement agencies for actions it was clearly never intended to countenance.
Representative Fitzpatrick's summary of his proposal shows an affinity with thus far unsuccessful attempts to federally ban online gambling like the Restoration of the American Wire Act, claiming that the Department of Justice legal opinion does not carry the force of law and should have no effect in the interpretation or enforcement of anti-online gambling legalization like the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 – legalization which disrupts financial transactions between online gambling firms and US players.
HB6453 has been filed with both the House Financial Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. It follows the September introduction to the Senate of Sen. Tom Cotton's SB3376 which has been described as effectively Sheldon Adelson's Restoration of the American Wire Act under a different title