Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lawmakers Starting To Question Online Gambling Laws

via Techdirt:

Is the tide turning in the war over online gambling?

A few recent developments suggest that efforts at stamping out the activity (which was always an impossible goal) may be losing steam. Last year, the state of Washington passed a rather draconian bill that made it a felony to gamble online; in fact, the it even went after people who merely discussed online gambling on their websites. It looks like lawmakers realized that they went overboard, and have now reversed that law, essentially making it legal again to gamble online for recreational purposes. That, in itself, doesn't make it much easier for people to gamble however, since there's still the federal law which has made getting money into an online casino a real pain.

The good news there is that a bill has been introduced in congress to repeal the ban. According to the bill's sponsor, Representative Barney Frank, there's significant support for the new law, though it obviously has a difficult road ahead, since it will need approval from the Senate (where rules make it very easy to stall legislation) and a signature from the President. Still, it's very rare for the government to repeal bad laws, so just the fact that movement is happening in this direction is a good sign.

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