Christian Coalition Letter to Henry Hyde

26 March 2000
Christian Coalition
Capitol Hill Office
227 Massachusetts Ave, N.E. Suite 101
Washington, D.C. 20002

March 22, 2000 IU Honorable Henry Hyde
Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Hyde:

On, behalf of the 1.9 million members Of Christian Coalition, I applaud your commitment to grant a hearing for H.R. 3125, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. However, a closer reading of this bill warrants your attention when it comes before your full Committee for consideration.

Christian Coalition has always supported restrictions at both the state and federal levels on the ability of Americans to gamble their earnings and life savings at the expense of their own personal welfare and the welfare of their spouses and their children, and even at the expense of the general public. We do not accept the libertarian belief that gambling is merely private activity that the state has no interest in regulating. The Chairman is familiar with the results of numerous studies which demonstrate the destructive criticism of gambling on America's families.

We also support a state's constitutional and historic role in regulating gambling activities within its own borders. However, the reality of the internet makes state, and even international borders, obsolete. The U.S. Congress has the premier constitutional authority to regulated this, the truest form of interstate commerce. Just as it is appropriate, legal, and constitutional for Congress too regulate pornography on the internet and to establish the federal commission to weigh the merits of taxing the internet, so it is regarding gambling on the internet.

Christian Coalition has at least two concerns with H.R. 3125. The first regards the carve-out for parimutuel betting. The effect of this would be to expand betting on dog races and jai alai into America's homes. Furthermore, H.R. 3125 would also expand state lotteries into the family living room.

Christian Coalition cannot support any legislation that purports to restrict gambling on the internet and at the same time expands gambling opportunities on the internet. I urge the Chairman to take a strong look at these particular exemptions in the bill, and pass an anti-internet gambling bill that bans all forms of gambling.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey K. Taylor
Director of Government Relations

cc: Rep. Goodlatte