Internet Gambling Essay

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Abstract: Internet gambling has become one of the hottest areas of the web, both in the sheer volume of sites and quantity of money involved. Increasing controversy is accompanying this new industry, as federal and state government officials scramble to update legislation that restricts interstate wagering. This paper examines the roots of Internet gambling and exposes some of the motivations driving the heated debate over its legitimacy.

The business-to-consumer sector of the Internet commerce arena contains the most lucrative and fastest growing web-based industry: online gambling, which includes sports wagering, casino-style games and lotteries [1]. In a September 11th article from last year, Wired on-line reported
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After a Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed the bill 16-1[4], the measure moved to the House for consideration in July 2000, where representatives currently deliberate on its merits [8].

Representative James Leach of Iowa then proposed the Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, which has also failed to become ratified. Introduced shortly after Kyl brought the of the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act to the House, the bill had a two-fold purpose: first, to prohibit online gambling companies from knowingly accepting wagers placed on credit; and second, to absolve unknowing "financial intermediaries" [i.e., credit card companies] of legal and monetary responsibility when gamblers use their services for credit transactions [9]. The motivation for the legislation may have come from the bizarre 1998 lawsuit filed in Marin County, CA by Cynthia Haines, who lost $70,000 dollars through Internet wagers

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