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Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.
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PASSING OF THE BILL

In 2006 various discussions were held between republican representatives of Congress to get a bill in place that would prohibit online gambling all together. The ban had in the past failed on a federal level for a number of reasons.
 
The political turmoil caused by the disgraced Jack Abramoff among others gave many politicians a reason to be against internet gambling thereby distancing themselves from his poor values and lack of ethics.
 
Two separate bills regarding online gambling were being considered by the House of Representatives in the summer of 2006; the Leach Bill1 and the Goodlatte Bill2. Leach was aiming to prohibit the electronic financial transactions while the Goodlatte Bill went further and basically attempted to ban online gambling all together. The latter was also an attempt to expand the scope of the Wire Act3. The desired outcome was to alter the definition of the Wire Act to prohibit online gambling as well. The two bills were comprised into a joint bill that included provisions from both bills. 
 
On July 11th 2006 the House passed a combination of the Leach/Goodlatte Bill by a vote of 317-934. It was a widely held belief in the gaming industry that the Senate would not be able to schedule discussions on the issue and vote on it in due time. However Senate Majority Leader, Bill Friest R-TN5, found a way of passing the bill by removing more controversial parts and thereby ensuring that the bill would not cause too much debate. The connection to the existing Wire Act was not included in the final bill.

On September 29th 2006 in the very last minute the final bill was tacked onto the SAFE Port Act. It was difficult for any politician to oppose The Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 (SAFE Port Act) and the anti-gambling republicans can be said to have passed the bill in a sneaky way in order to make it difficult for gambling companies to accept US players.

 


1 HR 4411, “The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement”, Gamblinglawupdate, page 4 (page removed)
2 HR 4777, “The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act”, Gamblinglawupdate, page 4 (page removed)
3 18 U.S.C. § 1953 (a), which prohibit the business of betting on sporting events
4 Declan McCullagh "House Votes 'Yes' on Net-Gambling Crackdown" CNetNewse.com July 11, 2006, see more
5 Republican Tennessee