'' Goodlatte Bill & Leach Bill | UIGEA | Safe Port Act | Poker
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The representatives Bob Goodlatte R-VA1 and Jim Leach R-IA2 led the attempt to prohibit online gambling in the United States. They seeked to link online gaming with criminal organizations but represented two different Bills. Leach claimed:

“The potential threat of identity theft and fraud is high for the individual bettor just as risk posed to our national security from terror and criminal organizations that control such sites”3.
They further argued that online gambling could easily give rise to money laundering. Senator John Kyl R-AZ4, another anti-gambling politician, tried to link online gambling with the War on Drugs by calling online gambling the “crack cocaine of gambling”.5
The rhetoric used did not really make a difference. The American public did not agree with these statements and did not want the government to interfere with their ability and right to gamble online.

By November 2006 the American public turned over the control of both Houses of Congress to the Democrats. Despite the political changes, the Republican lawmakers were able to get a modified version of the bill passed by adding the UIGEA to a comprehensive Homeland Security Bill called the SAFE Port Act of 2006 which was politically impossible to object to.


1 Republican Virginia
2 Republican Iowa
3 Rep. Jim Leach, Wall Street Journal April 4, 2006
4 Republican Arizona
5 Senator John Kyl, MSNBC.com April 10, 2001