Libertarian Party Opposes Ban
As part of House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) agenda to force Americans to abide with his moral beliefs, Congress is now trying to outlaw Internet gambling. Hastert listed the prohibition of Internet gambling in his recently announced American Values Agenda. The House of Representatives already passed H.R. 4411, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This attempt to cut off Internet gambling by Americans bans financial payments to offshore casinos. The Senate will be tackling this issue after it returns from its August recess. The House version of the bill passed by a vote of 317-93. Should the Senate pass the (same general version of) the bill, it would force U.S. financial institutions to cut off payments to the thousands of popular online gambling institutions legally located outside of U.S. boundaries. The bill won't impact state sponsored gambling, such as lotteries and horse racing. "States have always had the right to approve and regulate gambling within their borders," according to the bill's sponsor Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). "This bill makes Internet gambling illegal except where regulated by the states."
This legislation coincides with the 22-count indictment against eleven people and four corporations for Internet gambling related charges. Among those charged with racketeering, conspiracy and fraud were Gary Kaplan and David Carruthers of BetonSports.com.
Additionally, the World Trade Organization has been asked to settle disputes between the country of Antigua and Barbuda and the U.S. over recent prohibitions to online gambling. According to Antiguan authorities, the U.S. has taken no measures to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on the issue.
"It's clear that Hastert and Goodlatte are trying to force their moral views on the entire country. Hastert's already added a gay marriage ban to his agenda," said Stephen Gordon, the Libertarian Party's communication director. "Hopefully, they don't plan to impose blue laws or prohibit alcohol, pre-marital sex and dancing, too."
The Libertarian Party has a 35 year commitment to keeping government out of people's wallets as well as their bedrooms. According to Gordon, this latest move by Congress violates both of these general standards.