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US iGaming ban would set “troubling precedent”, say libertarian groups

29th April 2014 9:29 am GMT

A number of libertarian groups, including the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, have joined forces to oppose any federal ban of online gaming in the US, claiming that it would begin a “dangerous process” of internet censorship.

In a letter to Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley, and Representatives Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers, ten leading conservative and free market organisations opposed legislation recently introduced proposing to amend the Wire Act to prohibit transmission of wagering information for all types of gambling activities, including internet gambling (the Restoration of America’s Wire Act HR4301).

They said that the bill would allow the federal government to take a “heavy hand” in regulating the internet, opening the door for increased internet regulation in the future.

“By banning a select form of internet commerce, the federal government is setting a troubling precedent and providing fodder to those who would like to see increased internet regulation in the future,” they wrote. “We fear that HR 4301 will begin a dangerous process of internet censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by calculated international infringers while constraining the actions of private individuals and companies in the United States.”

They added that the bill also creates carve-outs that exempt certain special interests from the federal government’s reach.

“This amounts to the federal government picking winners and losers – choosing select industries or private-sector businesses to succeed at the expense of others, which is at odds with free-market competition.

"In total, HR 4301 is an inappropriate and unnecessary use of federal powers that infringes on the rights of individuals and states,” they wrote.

The letter was signed by Joe Jansen (Alliance for Freedom), Steve Pociask (American Consumer Institute), Michelle Minton (Competitive Enterprise Institute), Coley Jackson (Freedom Action), Matt Kibbe (FreedomWorks), Carrie Lukas (Independent Women’s Forum), Andrew Langer (Institute for Liberty), Tom Giovanetti (Institute for Policy Innovation), Eli Lehrer (R Street Institute), and David Williams (Taxpayer Protection Alliance).

 

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