The house busted out on the debate of internet gambling, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee took home the pot. In a historic decision, The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would essentially ban Americans from online gambling, an industry that is worth an estimated $12 billion.
Previous legislation existed, but the current rules make it harder for international gaming companies, with bans on gaming companies accepting credit cards, checks, wire and Internet transfer payments. Banks will be asked to block money transactions with the estimated 2,300 online gambling businesses located off U.S. soil. Many banks have already come forward saying these types of demands would be quite difficult, if not impossible to regulate.
Even with a dramatic 25 – 11 vote approving the legislation it is hard to say whether or not it will make the House and Senate’s floor this year, there are only a few working days left in the Senate this year due to the upcoming November congressional elections.
“The legislation is badly needed because … the amount of money going to these illegal unregulated offshore enterprises has quadrupled, in the past few years,’ explained Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the author of the legislation and a Virginia Republican.
The American government has already made steps to ban Internet gambling, previous legislation barred gambling on wireless devices.
Many in the industry argue that internet gambling such as online poker is getting treated unfairly compared to legal activities such as internet betting on horse racing and fantasy sports betting. Smaller banks have voiced their concern addressing the burden these added regulations will do to their business.
“We don't believe that simply putting the word ‘Internet' in front of ‘poker' should make the game suspect,” explained Michael Bolcerek, the president of the Poker Players Alliance. “Poker is a skill game. You can influence events. The original cards are random, but you can influence your success or failure throughout the hand.”