Internet Gambling Bill Introduced in House

Would permit Internet wagering with federally-licensed operators.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank and California Republican Rep. John Campbell have introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 1174), which would permit Internet wagering with federally-licensed operators. The bill was also sponsored by Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter and New York Republican Rep. Peter King.
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.  It is the same as the bill reported out of the Financial Services Committee last August but never considered by the full House.

According to an advisory from the American Horse Council, Frank's bill would not repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Rather it would create a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain federal licenses from the Department of Treasury authorizing them to accept wagers over the Internet from individuals in the U.S. The bill applies to both foreign and domestic operators.
The Department of Treasury would have authority to adopt regulations, authorize, suspend and terminate licenses, employ agents, and enforce the act. To receive a license, operators would have to subject themselves to U.S. jurisdiction and provide background information.

According to the AHC, the legislation would also:

• Prohibit the use of credit cards to gamble online; debit cards would be accepted or funds put in a prepaid account.
• Prohibit sports betting, except for pari-mutuel racing permitted by state law.
• Require that betters set loss limits.
• Prohibit any operator that had taken bets from the U.S. in violation of federal or state laws from obtaining a license.
• Require an operator to have a substantial U.S. presence to obtain a license and that at least 50% of employees be U.S. residents or citizens.
• Prohibit advertising aimed at minors or problem gamblers.
• Prohibit licensees from accepting bets from those on a self-exclusion list.
• Prohibit licensees from accepting bets from persons delinquent in child support payments.

The bill was also referred to the House Committees on the Judiciary and Energy and Commerce.