Bush Signs Ban on Online Gaming Transfers

President Bush signed a bill Oct. 13 to tighten port security and ban Internet gambling - with the exception of wagers placed on horse racing.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the legislation - which was passed by Congress Sept. 30 - would prevent the use of credit cards and fund transfers for unlawful Internet gambling and block financial transactions associated with illegal gambling.

The measure sets harsher penalties for wagering companies that use credit cards or fund transfers, including checks. Racing, though, gained an exemption under the amended Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.

The Associated Press reported that, at a hearing before the Financial Services Committee, former FBI Director Robert Mueller called Internet gambling a significant vehicle for money laundering, especially problematic in the post Sept.11 environment. This view is supported by a Government Accountability Office report which stated that large sums of money laundering proceeds can be moved rapidly through Internet gambling Web sites in order to obscure their origins.

The internet gambling bill was attached to legislation intended to tighten port security.