This weekend the U.S. House and Senate approved legislation that would prevent banks from processing transactions settling online bets made with offshore internet casinos.
Behind the banner of protecting the children, Representative Jim Leach said of the need for such a bill, "Children may play without verification, and betting with a credit card can undercut a player's perception of the value of cash, which too easily leads to bankruptcy and crime." The chief sponsor in the Senate, Jon Kyl, went on to add that internet gambling is a moral threat and that the convenience of online gambling makes its addictive qualities that much more threatening, "especially when it's done over an unregulated environment such as the Internet."
With news of the unexpected move by Congress, worldwide markets dipped significantly, particularly in the UK where gaming companies were hit with a £3 billion devaluation.
President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law.