The National Journal has this item about how some members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday reintroduced a bill that would effectively ban online betting.

The story explains, “The Restoration of America’s Wire Act, spearheaded by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, would ‘restore’ a decades-old federal ban on some gambling operations by extending it to include Internet gaming. Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, is introducing the bill with six GOP cosponsors and the backing of one Democrat, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.”

Hawaii and Utah are the only states that that reject legalized gambling. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican of South Carolina, also intends to reintroduce a version of the bill.

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As the Journal puts it, “The House reintroduction renews a long-standing fight between Internet gambling sites, brick-and-mortar casino owners, and family-values advocates. … Among the online ban’s most influential backers is Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who — via massive campaign contributions — wields considerable clout among Republicans.”

The legislation has received the attention of pro-online gaming interest. For example, GamePolitics says Chaffetz’s bill is an attempt to take away state’s rights.

“Every Congress to consider Internet gaming legislation has preserved the right of states to protect its citizens through a system that is accountable to regulators and the government,” said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. “Attempting to re-write history through a piece of legislation that prohibits states from enacting these safeguards represents the worst kind of crony capitalism that favors a mega political campaign donor over what’s in the best interest of the states and their consumers.”

PokerFuse, meanwhile, says in a posting, “Even though the bill has very little chance of passing, expect there to be a lot of hoopla surrounding the effort, and expect hearings to take place on the proposed legislation.”

For her part, Gabbard said in a press release:

“Congress has the responsibility to debate these regulations openly and should not allow bureaucrats to unilaterally change the law behind closed doors. Until that debate takes place, Congress must restore the long-standing interpretation of the Wire Act.  The FBI and state attorneys general from different parts of the country have raised multiple concerns about this new change. This bill restores protections against criminal activity which existed in the pre-2011 interpretation of the law.”

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