Friday, May 26, 2006
Enforcement law for US online gaming ban a step further

The proposals for a “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act” and an “Internet Gambling Enforcement Act” passed committee level of the U.S. Congress on 25 May.

The proposed laws will reinforce the existing ban on online gaming, as laid down in the Wire Act, and will introduce measures to enforce the ban. One of the most noticeable measures is the power to order credit card companies to refuse transactions with gambling websites. Although America Express and Diners Club already have a global policy not to process gambling transaction, VISA and Mastercard still do.

The proposed bills will keep the existing exception for betting on horseracing, which will therefore also be allowed in the future. The horse racing exception is no longer opposed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), as it is already legally allowed under the so called Interstate Horseracing Act.

The new law explicitly acknowledges the current status quo regarding the right of individual states to prohibit any form of gambling.

The law is expected to be passed in the second half of the year.