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What the U.S. Safe Port Bill is Not

September 30th, 2006

Assuming President Bush signs the U.S. Safe Port Bill (which he will), there certainly will be much discussion and writing in the coming days and months about what the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement provisions of the Bill really mean. We’ll be reviewing it here, section by section, but first wanted to describe what it is not.

1. It does not outlaw internet gambling in the United States. The 1961 Wire Act, the interpretation of which just about everybody has a different view when people try to apply it to internet gambling, are unchanged. The debate on if, how and to what extent the Wire Act can be applied to domestic and foreign businesses that offer internet sports betting, casino games, horse racing and poker will continue.

2. It has absolutley no provisions telling U.S. citizens what they can or can’t do on the internet. In fact, it is important to remember, neither does the often quoted Wire Act, which only has prohibitions on what a business “engaged in the business of betting or wagering” can’t do.

3. It is not criminal in nature against players. Rather, it tells U.S. banks, through regulations to be issued not earlier than mid-2007, and probabaly later, what they must do in order to try to prevent the use of their financial instruments (credit cards, checks, etc.) to pay for internet gambling.

Entry Filed under: U.S. Legislation

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