This, a letter from a U.S. senator to Drew
on why the bill on Internet Gambling should be passed. Note the sleight of hand. If you didn't know any better, you might even vote for it.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, HR 4777. I appreciate hearing from you.
I voted in support of HR 3125, Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, on July 7, 2000 and I plan to do the same if such legislation comes before the Senate. As the National Gambling Impact Study Commission has documented, and Senate and House hearings have confirmed, Internet gambling is growing at an explosive rate.
Because the Internet can be used anonymously, the danger exists that access to Internet gambling will be abused by underage children. In most instances, a would-be gambler merely has to fill out a registration form in order to play. Most sites rely on the registrant to disclose his or her correct age and make little or no attempt to verify the accuracy of the information. Underage gamblers can use their parents' credit cards or even their own credit and debit cards to register and set up accounts for use at Internet gambling sites.
Compulsive gamblers are another group susceptible to problems with Internet gambling. In addition to their accessibility, the high-speed instant gratification of Internet games and the high level of privacy they offer may exacerbate problem and pathological gambling. Access to the Internet is easy and inexpensive and can be conducted in the privacy of one's own home. Shielded from public scrutiny, pathological gamblers can traverse dozens of web sites and gamble 24 hours a day. The potential abuse of this technology by problem and pathological gamblers can tear a family apart.
The problems associated with anonymity extend beyond youth and pathological gambling. Lack of accountability also raises the potential for criminal activities, which can occur in several ways. For example, there is the possibility of abuse by gambling operators. Most Internet service providers (ISPs) hosting Internet gambling operations are physically located offshore; as a result, operators can alter, move, or entirely remove sites within minutes. This mobility makes it possible for dishonest operators to take credit card numbers and money from deposited accounts and close down. This lack of regulation and control over the industry can ultimately lead to credit card fraud and identity theft.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at XXX. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if I may ever be of assistance to you.