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Anne Lindner
 

Illinois to Consider Anti I-Gaming Bil

26 February 2003

Illinois State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for banks and credit card companies to facilitate payments for Internet gambling.

Coulson, R-Glenview, proposed a similar bill last year, but after passing the House of Representatives by a landslide it died the Senate Rules Committee.

Coulson's bill would fine banks $1,000 per offense if they are found to have allowed wire transfers to be processed for online gambling transactions. The bill would also make all credit card debt resulting from online gambling null and void. Coulson told the Copley News Service that credit card companies would, under her bill, effectively put a stop to Internet gambling.


"At first blush, I'm not sure why we want to make financial institutions criminally responsible for people taking their money out of their bank account, which is basically what the bill does."
-Rep. Lou Lang

"Basically, we would say that credit card companies don't have to pay the Internet debt, so then, guess what, the gambling people aren't going to want to take cards from Illinois, and then you eliminate the problem," she said.

Coulson's bill is awaiting a hearing before the Gaming Committee. That committee's chairman, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, is not convinced that the bill is the right way to legislate online gambling.

"At first blush, I'm not sure why we want to make financial institutions criminally responsible for people taking their money out of their bank account, which is basically what the bill does," Lang said. "Whether Internet gambling is or isn't legal, I'm not sure this is the appropriate place to put the enforcement mechanism."

Lang said that while he could still be convinced to vote in favor of the bill, his first inclination would be to vote against it. As for Internet gambling in general, Lang said he does not have an opinion on it. He said he is open to the idea of making it legal and taxable.

"We should figure out a way to either enforce the laws of the state of Illinois or make them work for the benefit of the tax payers," he said.

Coulson did not return numerous phone calls from Interactive Gaming News.

To read Coulson's bill,click here.

Illinois to Consider Anti I-Gaming Bil is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner