- HR 1174 - Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act

H.R. 1174 - Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act

In the wake of Barney Frank's failed bill to legalize and regulate online gambling in the United States, Representative Joe Campbell (R-CA48) has introduced a bill based off of the same premise. Campbell has introduced H.R. 1174, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. This bill is similar to Barney Frank's last bill, which had a similar name. We have looked this bill up with general interest, as we are hoping to see online gambling regulated in the United States.

H.R. 1174 has been written to grant the Secretary of the Treasury to regulate and enforce Internet gambling by establishing a framework for licensing. This law would institute various requirements for licensing, and it would be the first step to ensuring safety, legitimacy, and a framework for taxation on the online gambling industry. There are various concepts that will go into protecting players, indeed the industry on a whole, but there are a few caveats that make this bill something of a drawback for certain types of gamblers - particularly sports bettors.

Under H.R. 1174, financial guidelines are the first to be established. Online gamblers will find that safeguards will be put in place to "combat fraud, money laundering, and terrorist finance." The bill would also prevent compulsive gambling based on financial trends. Additionally, a new restriction would be in place with online gambling - players would not be able to use credit cards to fund their accuont. This is meant to prevent players from going into debt. Whether or not prepaid and debit cards can be used has yet to be determined.

The second major aspect of this law would make make it so not every gambling site can actually receive licensing. It would prohibit those who had previously broken gambling laws from actually opening their own gambling website. It would allow the government to run background checks on operators, make sure they could afford to run the business, and prohibit licensees from accepting bets from excluded gamblers. This would also allow each state to individually opt out of the program, and it also delegates some power to tribal authorities around the various states. Only those sites that receive licensing can actually operate without any trouble, and there will be serious penalties for those who operate without the proper licensing.

H.R. 1174's major caveat is the fact that it does not actually allow sports betting sites. This would make actually betting on sports a crime - something that is not currently a reality. This comes as a double edged sword. While online poker and casinos would legally operate, the sports betting sites would actually be criminalized. We do not agree with this becoming a reality, but something is better than nothing and laws can always be amended.