New Goodlatte Bill Comes to Fruition

21 October 1999
The recently announced House version of the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), was filed this morning. With a few exceptions, Goodlatte's bill resembles the Senate version drafted by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl.

Go to: to view IGN' initial report on the new Goodlatte bill.

Following is the press release issued today by Goodlatte's office:

DATE: October 21, 1999


Today Congressman Bob Goodlatte as chief sponsor, along with Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Jim Gibbons (R-NV), and Virgil Goode (D-VA) as original cosponsors, introduced the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. This legislation has bipartisan support from a coalition of legislators who both oppose and support legalized gambling. The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act will crack down on the growing problem of online gambling, which undermines families and threatens the ability of states to enact and enforce their own laws.

"Having a casino in one's home only encourages gambling addicts and sparks the interest of children. It is time to shine a bright light on gambling in this country and bring a quick end to illegal gambling on the Internet," said Goodlatte.

Gambling is illegal unless regulated by the states. With the development of the Internet, however, this situation has been turned on its head. Gambling on the Internet has become easily accessible and illegal gambling businesses operate freely until law enforcement finds and stops them. The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act gives law enforcement the tools that it needs to crackdown on illegal Internet gambling operations. The legislation also states that:

Anyone convicted of running an Internet gambling business is liable for a substantial fine and up to 4 years in prison.

It does not preempt state laws regarding legalized, closed-loop services such as lotteries and parimutuel wagering, and does not cover online news reporting about gambling, and does not apply to fantasy sports leagues.

"Online gambling must be stopped before it develops any further. This legislation protects the rights of citizens in each state to decide through their state legislatures if they want to allow gambling within their borders and not have that right taken away by offshore fly-by-night operators."

Goodlatte first introduced legislation to prohibit online gambling in the 105th Congress. That bill, H.R. 2380, had 50 cosponsors and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee where further hearings were held.

Click here to view the full text of the Goodlatte bill.