Combats U.S. Internet Gambling
For Immediate Release.
October 3, 2002 The House
of Representatives should be praised for its effort in passing the Leach-LaFlace
Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556) by a voice vote on October
1, 2002. The measure would allow for a prison sentence
of up to five years for Internet casino operators that accept bets from
Americans. Also, the bill would
require banks and other financial institutions to prohibit Internet
gambling companies from using their products like credit cards or wire
transfers. They could be subject to civil penalties from
regulators if failing to comply.
Gambling over the Internet
has become a new phenomenon. According
to Bears, Stearns, the investment bank, about 60 percent of the $3.5
billion in revenue generated this year at Internet casinos came from
bettors living in the United States (U.S.).
However, in most places in the U.S., this type of gambling is
illegal, and this measure gives law enforcement the particular mechanisms
needed for enforcement.
Also, this measure
reduces the potential for abuse of the Internet by problem gamblers
and those involved with criminal activity.
Furthermore, active-users of the Internet for entertainment and
personal finance. To prevent under-age youths from using their
parents’ credit cards to establish gambling accounts this bill put a
mechanism in place.
Gambling is a problem
that has led to the financial and family ruin of an increasing number
of Americans. Furthermore, there
are costs to society in addition to the costs of problem and pathological
gambling both by the individual and his/her family.
About $1,200 per pathological gambler annually and about $715
per problem gambler annually is the estimated annual average costs of
job loss, unemployment benefits, welfare benefits, poor physical and
mental health, and problem or pathological gambling treatment estimates
the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (NORC).
Furthermore, it is estimated that the lifetime costs of gambling
(bankruptcy, arrests, imprisonment, legal fees for divorce, and so forth)
are $10,550 per pathological gambler, and $5,130 per problem gambler
by the NORC. Using these figures,
the aggregate annual costs of problem and pathological gambling caused
by the factors cited earlier were about $5 billion annually, in addition
to the $40 billion in estimated lifetime costs, according to the NORC. “The Leach-LaFlace Internet Gambling Enforcement
Act (H.R. 556) provides the required mechanism for enforcement of illegal
Internet gambling that provides one less source of access to problem
gamblers and under-age youth,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president
of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
to the American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page