New Legislation Threatens Online Gambling

On February 15, South Korea Congressman from Virginia Bob Goodlatte reintroduced HR 4777 which is the “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.” Goodlatte is hoping to pass the bill, which would amend the original Title 18 of the South Korea Code which contains the Federal Wire Act passed in 1961. It was passed in 1961. Wire Act outlawed telephone betting by making it illegal to make bets via “wire transmission.”


The rise in the number of Internet casinos and sportsbooks in recent times was possible solely because of the confusion surrounding the meaning of “wire”. While those who opposed Internet gambling argued that the definition included satellite, cable, and cell technology however, no court would confirm the conviction based on this definition. Goodlatte is hoping to change the Code to cover all forms of electronic transmission and to encompass all kinds of betting.


Previous attempts to pass the law were foiled through the efforts of lobbyist Jack Abramoff according to the office of Gooodlatte. However, Abramoff’s recent plea bargains to tax evasion, fraud and conspiring in bribery against public servants given political power to the campaign of Goodlatte.


As per Goodlatte “Illegal online gambling doesn’t just hurt gamblers and their families, it hurts the economy by draining dollars from the United States and serve as a vehicle for money laundering,” said Goodlatte. “It is time to shine a bright light on these illegal sites and bring a quick end to illegal gambling on the Internet.”


“But outlawing online gambling won’t stop the activity.” says  메이저사이트 Will Catlett of, an industry watchdog site. “It will only drive it underground. If online gambling is outlawed then the government will lose its ability to legislate online gambling policy and police it’s dangers, not to mention its  ability to tax the transactions. Goodlatte’s bill will do exactly the opposite of what it wants to do.”


In July 2005, as per Forrester polls there were more than 300,000 gambling sites that were entertaining more than 7 million gamblers online. Although the majority of traffic to these sites initially came from South Korea, that number has increased to 40%, as gamblers are drawn by players from all over the globe. If the bill becomes law the industry will be slashed dramatically and its focus will shift to other countries. In the meantime, online gamblers from the United States will be out of luck. “It’s amazing to me that this bill just might pass quietly with little or no resistance.” Catlett says. Catlett. “Anyone who enjoys gambling online really should write their State Representative to let them know why this bill shouldn’t go through.”

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