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  1. #1
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    Default Kyl Bill Goes to US Senate this week

    Senator Jon Kyl’s anti-online gambling bill goes before the US Senate Banking Committee this week, another step in the process that could see the bill become law this fall. Kyl has been prominent in the anti-Internet gambling lobby, having introduced legislation in each of the past four sessions of Congress to bolster federal laws that currently (in the opinion of the Justice Department) prohibit Internet gambling. The 1961 Wire Act is the prime legal instrument to date, but this has been rendered virtually obsolete by Internet technology.

    Kyl acknowledges his legislation would be ineffective against ‘traditional’ illegal gambling – underground poker rooms and illicit bookmakers. 'Our bill would not stop the kind of local payoffs you're talking about, and it does not, per se, go after the virtual casinos,' Kyl said. 'But we're advancing the ball to some extent.'

    Kyl's bill and a version already passed by Congress aim to strangle online gambling in the US by imposing criminal penalties for US citizens operating Internet betting sites and requiring financial institutions to deny Internet -based wagers.

    Steve Schillinger, co-founder of World Sports Exchange (WSEX), of largest gambling sites on the Web, said he doubts Kyl’s proposed legislation will stop US citizens gambling on the Internet.

    'None of the sports books are so concerned about the legislation,' he said last week in a phone call from Antigua, where his company, World Sports Exchange, is based. 'We already know it's illegal.

    '(But) what's to stop you sending $100,000 down to me? There is no way the government can stop people from sending money down here. (Federal agents) can make it more inconvenient, but they can't stop it. People will always find a way to do it.'

    What is happening is that US-based Internet gamblers are switching to other methods of payment. Mitch Garber, president of SureFire Commerce, said 55% of the credit card transactions he tried to process for casinos this year were rejected by U.S. banks. SureFire Commerce is a Montreal-based company that processes credit card transactions for hundreds of Internet casinos.

    'We have seen an increase in the use of Western Union and electronic checks as gaming payments,' Garber said
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    Moderator - Big Kahuna Dominique's Avatar
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    So soon....
    dominique




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    Just sent out by ProFreedom

    We need your help! After nearly a month of quiet, those trying to ban Internet gambling have officially restarted their efforts, this time in the U.S. Senate. On Thursday, July 31st, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will vote on the bill, S. 627, the so-called Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act.

    We need your help. This is one of our last chances to keep the government's hands off the Internet. After the House of Representatives passed this bill a month ago, we need to make our voices heard. We need to contact our Senators and tell them to vote against this bill.

    Please log on to http://www.profreedom.com to send a letter and be sure to tell everyone you know to send one too!
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    Moderator - Big Kahuna Dominique's Avatar
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    I just sent mine and I hope you all send yours too!!!
    dominique




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    More news
    Anti-gambling bill rolls toward Senate
    Bill would dry up money headed to offshore casinos
    By Michael Burnham, Medill News Service
    Last Update: 6:40 PM ET July 30, 2003


    WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- A bill that would drain the lifeblood of illegal Internet gambling-money is moving toward the Senate floor.

    Sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., the legislation would prohibit gambling businesses from accepting credit card, electronic fund transfer or other payment methods from gamblers who bet illegally over the Internet. The bill also would set civil and criminal penalties for online gambling and would modify the federal criminal code to include satellite, microwave and other communications from fixed or mobile sources.

    The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a markup of the Kyl bill on Thursday, after which it will likely go to the full Senate for consideration.

    The bill's primary thrust is to give U.S. law enforcement a more effective tool for fighting offshore e-gaming sites that illegally offer their services to U.S. residents.

    The Wire Communications Act, which prohibits interstate or international telecommunications for transmitting bets, is the main federal law used to prosecute illegal gambling.

    However, the courts have debated whether the 1961 law applies to nascent Web-based technologies.

    "It gives the Wire Act more teeth," a Kyl staff member said of the bill. "It stops Internet gambling where it counts -- the money."

    Gambling is generally regulated at the state level, with federal law supporting state statutes to ensure that interstate and international commerce do not supersede them.

    Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., a Banking Committee member, is expected to use Thursday's markup to amend the bill to give states the right to authorize Internet lotteries.

    Even as the feds step up efforts to prosecute high-profile Internet gambling operations, offshore Internet casinos continue to circumvent U.S. law.

    Internet gambling outfits have established about 1,800 offshore e-gaming sites since the mid-1990s, according to a December 2002 General Accounting Office report, and global revenues from Internet gambling are projected to reach $5 billion in 2003. Analysts estimate that U.S. residents will account for about half of the revenue.

    Canada-based Interactive Gaming Council, the world's largest e-gaming trade group, called the Kyl bill "misdirected."

    "If their concern is protecting consumers, it can best be done through a regulatory structure, as it is in other parts of the world," IGC Chairwoman Sue Schneider said.

    The United Kingdom, Australia and other countries have chosen to license, rather than outlaw, Internet gambling.

    But in the United States, the dollar drain overseas-as well as moral aversion to gambling-have given rise to a diverse crop of other e-gaming bills in the 108th Congress.

    Bills in past Congresses-ranging from regulating Internet gambling to cracking down on individual e-gamers-have failed to pass both chambers.

    However, in June, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that would prohibit gambling businesses from accepting credit card payments and other bank instruments from Internet gamblers.

    Critical to the House bill's passage was the removal of criminal provisions that are at the center of Kyl's Senate bill.

    If the Senate passes the Arizona Republican's proposal, the two chambers would then have to hold a conference committee to iron out the differences between their two versions.

    "People are going to gamble," said Rep. Spencer Bacchus, R-Ala., who sponsored the House-passed bill. "It's almost impossible for states to do anything, so the way to stop (e-gaming) is to cut off the money."

    Yet another bill, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., would establish the Internet Gambling Licensing and Regulation Study Commission to review existing laws governing Internet gambling and issues involved with its licensing and regulation. It is the lone bill supported by the Interactive Gaming Council and other gaming interests, but it has languished in the House's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit since April.
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    Senate Banking Committee Passes Kyl Bill

    Today the U.S. Senate Banking Committee passed S.627, the Internet gambling prohibition bill proposed by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

    The committee spent all of five minutes debating the bill--just enough time for the chairman of the committee to introduce the bill and ask the committee to approve the amendments he already made to it.

    The bill was voted unanimously to be reported to the full Senate.

    Kyl's bill would block online gambling merchants from taking credit cards or other bank instruments as payment from American online gamblers.

    No amendments were offered on the bill during the session and it was not debated. A similar bill was passed in the House of Representatives after hours of debate on June 11.
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