Federal crackdown on illegal Internet gambling praised by state lawmaker

Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus is defending a federal ban on illegal internet gambling.

Bachus spoke during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on a proposal that would legalize Internet gambling by creating a system of government licensing and regulation.

The legislation would undermine major portions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which Bachus was instrumental in passing into law last October.

The law barred the use of credit cards for illegal Internet gambling and is credited with keeping minors and gambling addicts away from offshore casino sites that were criminally flouting U.S. anti-gambling laws.

Congressman Bachus, who is the Ranking Member on the committee, issued the following statement in support of the existing ban on illegal internet gambling:

Bachus said, "Some claim that illegal Internet gambling is a victimless crime.  In fact, the very real victims of illegal Internet gambling are the underage gamblers who by the tens of thousands are becoming compulsive and addicted gamblers.  They can't go in a casino and bet legally so they do it on the Internet.  It's prohibited and illegal, but they do it in their bedrooms and dorm rooms.  It is a mushrooming epidemic leaving in its wake suicide, crimes, and financial and family tragedy.  There are several instances of college students who committed suicide as a result of illegal Internet gambling and the debts they drove up.  This is not a debate on whether it's illegal or not.  Every state in the union has a prohibition against it."