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S. 474 (105th): Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 19, 1997 (Introduced).


S 474 IS

105th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 474

To amend sections 1081 and 1084 of title 18, United States Code.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 19, 1997

Mr. KYL (for himself, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. HUTCHINSON, Mr. GRASSLEY, and Mr. JOHNSON) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend sections 1081 and 1084 of title 18, United States Code.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997’.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 1081 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in the matter immediately following the colon, by designating the first 5 undesignated paragraphs as paragraphs (1) through (5), respectively, and indenting each paragraph accordingly;

      (2) in paragraph (5), as so designated--

        (A) by striking ‘wire communication’ and inserting ‘communication’;

        (B) by striking ‘transmission of writings’ and inserting ‘transmission or receipt of data, writings’; and

        (C) by striking ‘or other like’ and all that follows before the period and inserting ‘radio, electromagnetic, photo-optical, photoelectric, or other similar facility’; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(6) BETS OR WAGERS- The term ‘bets or wagers’--

        ‘(A) means the staking or risking by any person of something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the control or influence of the person, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or another person will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome;

        ‘(B) includes the purchase of a chance or opportunity to win a lottery or other prize; and

        ‘(C) does not include--

          ‘(i) a bona fide business transaction governed by the securities laws (as that term is defined in section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(47))) for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities (as that term is defined in section 3(a)(10) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(10)));

          ‘(ii) a contract of indemnity or guarantee; or

          ‘(iii) a contract for life, health, or accident insurance.’.

SEC. 3. TRANSMISSION OF WAGERING INFORMATION; PENALTIES.

    Section 1084 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking subsections (a) and (b) and inserting the following:

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL-

      ‘(1) PERSONS ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF BETTING OR WAGERING- Whoever, being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a communication facility for the transmission or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers, information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, or a communication that entitles the transmitter or receiver to the opportunity to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, shall be fined not more than $10,000, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

      ‘(2) OTHER PERSONS- Whoever (other than a person described in paragraph (1)) knowingly uses a communication facility for the transmission or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers, information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, or a communication that entitles the transmitter or receiver to the opportunity to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

    ‘(b) EXCEPTIONS-

      ‘(1) NEWS REPORTING; LEGAL BETS AND WAGERS- Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the transmission or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce of any information--

        ‘(A) for use in the news reporting of any activity, event, or contest upon which bets or wagers are based; or

        ‘(B) relating to the placing of bets or wagers, if such betting or wagering--

          ‘(i) is legal in the State or foreign country in which the transmission originates; and

          ‘(ii) is legal in each State and each foreign country in which the transmission is received.

      ‘(2) STATE LAW- Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt any State law.’; and

      (2) in subsection (d)--

        (A) by striking ‘(d) When’ and inserting the following:

    ‘(d) DUTIES OF COMMON CARRIERS AND INTERACTIVE COMPUTER SERVICE PROVIDERS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- If’;

        (B) by inserting ‘or interactive computer service provider’ after ‘common carrier’ each place that term appears;

        (C) by striking ‘Nothing’ and inserting the following:

      ‘(3) JUDICIAL ACTION- Nothing’; and

        (D) by inserting after paragraph (1), as so designated by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the following:

      ‘(2) INJUNCTIVE RELIEF- Any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency acting within its jurisdiction, shall have the authority, following the issuance of a notice under paragraph (1), to seek an injunction or other appropriate relief from a Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction barring access to the communication facility at issue or preventing the use of such facility for the purpose of transmitting or receiving gambling information in interstate or foreign commerce in violation of Federal, State, or local law.’.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE SENATE.

    It is the sense of the Senate that the Federal Government should have extraterritorial jurisdiction over the transmission to or receipt from the United States of--

      (1) bets or wagers (as that term is defined in section 1081 of title 18, United States Code);

      (2) information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers; and

      (3) any communication that entitles the transmitter or recipient to the opportunity to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers.

SEC. 5. REPORT.

    Not later than 360 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a report to Congress that includes--

      (1) an analysis of the problems, if any, associated with enforcing section 1084 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act;

      (2) recommendations for the best use of the resources of the Department of Justice to enforce that section;

      (3) recommendations for the best use of the resources of the Federal Communications Commission to enforce that section; and

      (4) an estimate of the amount of activity and money being used to gamble on the Internet (as that term is defined in section 230(e)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(e)(1)).