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H.R. 2140 (110th): Internet Gambling Study Act

The text of the bill below is as of May 3, 2007 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 2140


May 3, 2007

(for herself, Mr. Porter, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Crowley, Mr. LoBiondo, Mr. Heller of Nevada, Mr. Walz of Minnesota, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Berman, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Yarmuth, Mr. Serrano, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Towns, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, Mr. Payne, Mr. Clay, Mr. Capuano, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Ackerman, Mrs. Maloney of New York, Mr. Wexler, Mr. Meek of Florida, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Peterson of Minnesota, Mr. Melancon, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Hill, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Thompson of California, Ms. Watson, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Kilpatrick, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Costello, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Moore of Kansas, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Honda, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Faleomavaega, Mr. Hinchey, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Israel, Mr. Costa, and Mr. Clyburn) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Financial Services and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To provide for a study by the National Academy of Sciences to identify the proper response of the United States to the growth of Internet gambling.


Short title

This Act shall be known as the Internet Gambling Study Act.


Findings and purpose



The Congress finds as follows:


Gambling is regulated primarily by State and tribal governments and Federal statutes governing the interstate placement of wagers are outdated.


Over the past decade, the number of Americans gambling on the Internet has risen dramatically to several million, accounting for over half of a multibillion dollar worldwide market.


Many observers and industry analysts believe that it is impossible to stop the sale of most products or services over the Internet.


Congress recently approved the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which imposes civil and criminal penalties for the acceptance of any financial instrument by those engaged in the business of unlawful Internet gambling.


Congress must focus on establishing safeguards against gambling by minors, compulsive gambling, fraud, money laundering, and other forms of abuse.


Although interpretations of a recent ruling of the World Trade Organization's appellate body differ, legal experts agree that it calls into question whether certain of Federal and State gambling laws violate the commitments of the United States under the General Agreement on Trade and Services.


While only the United States and Antigua and Barbuda are parties to that dispute, the ruling could have ramifications for all interested parties, from the European Union to Australia.



The purpose of this Act is to provide for a detailed examination by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences of the issues posed by the continued spread and growth of interstate commerce with respect to Internet gambling, as well as the impact of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act on Internet gambling in the United States.


Comprehensive study of internet gambling


Study required


In general

The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences shall enter into a contract to conduct a comprehensive study of Internet gambling, including the existing legal framework that governs such activities and transactions and the impact of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act on Internet gambling in the United States.


Issues to be considered

The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall include—


a review of existing Federal, State, tribal, local, and international laws governing various forms of wagering over the Internet, the effectiveness of such laws, and the extent to which such provisions of law conform or do not conform with each other;


an assessment of the proliferation of Internet gambling, including an analysis of its availability and use within the United States;


a determination of the impact of Internet gambling on minors and compulsive gamblers and the availability of regulatory and technological safeguards to prevent or mitigate these impacts;


a determination of the extent to which terrorists and criminal enterprises are utilizing Internet gambling for fraud and money laundering purposes and the availability of regulatory and technological safeguards to prevent or mitigate these impacts;


an assessment of the impact of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act on the availability and use within the United States of Internet gambling, and on the adverse effects of Internet gambling identified in subparagraphs (C) and (D);


an assessment of recent technological innovations and the practices of other nations and international bodies that license and regulate Internet gambling, and the practicality of using similar systems to establish a legal framework in the United States;


an analysis of the issues of federalism that are presented by legislative and administrative proposals designed to address the proliferation of illegal Internet gambling, given the interstate and international character of the Internet as a medium, and the potential for State and tribal governments to create a legal and regulatory framework for online gambling within their jurisdictions or among those jurisdictions where online gambling is legal;


an assessment of the problems posed by unregulated international Internet gambling to United States interests and the potential means, if any, by which the Federal Government may seek international cooperation in addressing these concerns;


an analysis of the potential impact of recent World Trade Organization rulings regarding Internet gambling and the long-term impact on existing and future United States trade agreements under the General Agreement on Trade and Services; and


an analysis of the potential tax revenue that could be generated by a legal, licensed, regulated Internet gambling industry in the United States.


Final report

The contract entered into under subsection (a) shall require that the National Research Council submit to the President, the Congress, State Governors, and Native American tribal governments a comprehensive report on the Council’s findings and conclusions not later than 12 months after the date upon which the contract is entered into.