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WASHINGTON-The House has passed legislation by a bipartisan vote of 319 to 104 to put the kibosh on the funding of illegal Internet gambling sites. “Take the financial incentives away and illegal Internet gambling stops,” House Financial Services Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said. “H.R. 2143 will help put an end to illegal Internet gambling in the United States by prohibiting the use of any bank instrument – such as a credit card, check or electronic funds transfer – for Internet gambling.” While Bachus sponsored the final legislation, Congressman Jim Leach (R-Iowa) had spearheaded the initial effort. “Internet gambling increases consumer debt, makes bankruptcy more likely, money laundering an easy endeavor, and identity theft a likely burden,” Leach said of the legislation. “By definition, the activities of these off-shore gambling sites are illegal under U.S. law. This bill is a solid first step toward the goal of stemming the flow of funds to these illegal sites.” “Today’s vote is a win for American families,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio), a co-sponsor to the bill, said. “It will keep kids and problem gamblers out of the Internet casinos that infiltrate their daily lives, while protecting all of us from the horrifying effects of money laundering and terrorist financing.” The bill had passed the House Financial Services Committee May 20 by voice vote.

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