The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

House moves to ban online gambling. Sort of.

The GOP's "American Values Agenda" hasn't been faring too well. The first item was to ban judges from cases involving the Pledge of Alliegance-- specifically, from hearing cases that seek to remove the words 'under God' since their addition to the pledge during the McCarthy era. But too few Republicans supported the measure to turn it into law.

Now they've targeted online gambling, in another move aimed at their fundamentalist supporters. But those supporters seem less than thrilled with the effort. Why? Because the party of American values decided to exempt a few types of online gambling.

To enforce that ban, the bill would prohibit credit cards and other payment forms, such as electronic transfers, from being used to settle online wagers. It also would give law enforcement officials the authority to work with Internet providers to block access to gambling Web sites. (. . .)

Other critics complain that the bill
doesn't cover all forms of gambling. They point to exemptions they say would allow online lotteries and Internet betting on horse racing to flourish while cracking down on other kinds of sports betting, casino games and card games like poker.

Apparently, the reason for the racing good/poker bad decision is that the Republican-run Congress has already passed a law specifically confirming its legality. Oops.

The horse racing industry also supports the bill because of the exemption it would get. Betting operators would not be prohibited from any activity allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act. That law written in the 1970s set up rules for interstate betting on racing. It was updated a few years ago to clarify that betting on horse racing over the Internet is allowed.