Kyl working on a new anti gambling bill
May 7, 2005
Last week InfoPowa flagged reports that the indefatigable Sen.
Jon Kyl was on the warpath again with yet another attempt to ban
online gambling instead of regulating it in the USA.
More detail is now available as the Republican senator from Arizona
makes the initial moves for 2005 with his Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act 2005.
Perhaps predictably, Kyl is staying with the financial measures
of previous years as he seeks to hamstring the online gambling industry
by making it illegal to use credit cards, wire transfers or other
"instruments of banking" to fund online gambling transactions.
But what makes this initiative more dangerous is the fact that -
at this early stage anyway - Kyl has eschewed the carve-outs that
have created special interest group problems for him in the past.
In particular, the horseracing element of online gambling is currently
*legal* but has been highlighted as an inconsistency in recent WTO
findings, detracting from the US case in that separate dispute.
Kyl is a highly experienced politician who knows how to maneuver
and manipulate the Washington legislative machine to achieve his
objectives, and he can therefore never be taken lightly despite
failures in previous years of his attempts to kill off the industry.
He has the experience to know that racing, lottery, Indian gaming
and land-based casino industries will all hunt exemptions allowing
individual states to decide whether they want to license and regulate
various forms of interactive gaming.
The new draft also does not specifically define legal or illegally
Internet gambling activity at this stage.
It is early days yet, and Washington has plenty of other and one
would think more pressing issues on the legislative agenda. However,
Kyl is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and scheduling his
Bill for a hearing could be on the cards.