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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Leach-LaFalce Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556)


The Leach-LaFalce Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556) is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 1, 2002.( Full text of legislation)

The measure, as amended, provides state and federal authorities with the means to enforce current statutes making gambling over the Internet illegal.

Specifically, the measure:

         creates a new crime - accepting financial instruments, like credit cards or electronic fund transfers, for debts incurred in illegal Internet gambling;

         enables state and federal attorneys general to request that injunctions be issued to any party, such as financial institutions and Internet Service Providers, since the perpetrators of this crime are almost exclusively offshore and beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement tactics; and

         allows federal banking regulators to create rules requiring financial institutions to block or filter illegal Internet gambling transactions using designated methods.

Injunction Provisions:

Evidence of illegal activity would be gathered by law enforcement and it would be presented in an injunction proceeding to a court. The judge may issue an injunction to any party that can help stop the illegal activity if law enforcement meets its evidentiary burden.

The name and other relevant information about a suspect gambling business will be given to a financial institution or other relevant person when an injunction is issued. To the best of its abilities the institution will then discontinue processing transactions to or from the gambling business.

Regulatory Provisions:

For illegal gambling, H.R. 556 lists payment systems that are being using. Regulations establishing policies and procedures reasonably designed to filter or block illegal transactions will be issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Federal Reserve and the Department of Justice. If the Secretary determines that it is not reasonably practical to block such transactions any payment type may be excluded from regulation.

What Can You Do?

Urge your representative to SUPPORT the Leach-LaFalce Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556)

Contact Information:

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.

Addressing Correspondence:

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative (last name):

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