>Congress doesn’t want you to gamble online anymore.
With bipartisan support and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal haunting Republican efforts to pass antigambling legislation, the House approved a crackdown on Internet wagering that would ban not only sports bets but also online poker and other games that have become increasingly popular.
Voting 317 to 93, the House approved a bill that would make it illegal for financial institutions or intermediaries to process payments to offshore casinos through bettors’ electronic funds, checks, debits and other e-wallet transactions. In addition, the bill updates the Wire Act of 1961, which forbade the transmission of betting over telephone lines, to specifically outlaw online gambling through any communication network. Criminal penalties would increase to a maximum of five years in prison, from two years.