The US House of Representatives is to push ahead with a controversial plan to ban online gambling, despite claims that the proposed legislation is full of holes.
The powerful Judiciary Committee approved a bill to update the Wire Act of 1961 that bans interstate gambling. It now must clear the Financial Services Committee before the full House can vote on it.
The bill would enable law enforcement agents to remove gambling web banner ads, and stop credit card payments to sites operating outside the US.
Although the bill is aimed primarily at offshore sites, it was changed in order to accommodate the many forms of legalised gambling supported in different states.
The result is a bill riddled with legal loopholes which is too draconian, according to its opponents.
Las Vegas legal expert John Regan said: "It has tried to do too much and, as a result, it will be overturned by some online gambling company which has the strength to take it to the Supreme Court.
"Such rows about gambling have been going on for ages in the real world, and now it seems that virtual gambling is coming under attack from the conservatives in the House of Representatives."
But all is not well with the online gambling industry, following the decision by many credit card companies to stop supporting them.
Citibank yesterday forbade its customers to use its facilities to pay online gambling debts, and others are expected to follow suit.
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