Ron Paul
2002 Ron Paul Chapter 92

Internet Gambling

1 October 2002

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2002 Ron Paul 92:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 556 limits the ability of individual citizens to use bank instruments, including credit cards or checks, to finance Internet gambling. This legislation should be rejected by Congress since the federal government has no constitutional authority to ban or even discourage any form of gambling.

2002 Ron Paul 92:2
In addition to being unconstitutional, H.R. 556 is likely to prove ineffective at ending Internet gambling. Instead, this bill will ensure that gambling is controlled by organized crime. History, from the failed experiment of prohibition to today’s futile “war on drugs,” shows that the government cannot eliminate demand for something like Internet gambling simply by passing a law. Instead, H.R. 556 will force those who wish to gamble over the Internet to patronize suppliers willing to flaunt the ban. In many cases, providers of services banned by the government will be members of criminal organizations. Even if organized crime does not operate Internet gambling enterprises their competitors are likely to be controlled by organized crime. After all, since the owners and patrons of Internet gambling cannot rely on the police and courts to enforce contracts and resolve other disputes, they will be forced to rely on members of organized crime to perform those functions. Thus, the profits of Internet gambling will flow into organized crime. Furthermore, outlawing an activity will raise the price vendors are able to charge consumers, thus increasing the profits flowing to organized crime from Internet gambling. It is bitterly ironic that a bill masquerading as an attack on crime will actually increase organized crime’s ability to control and profit from Internet gambling.

2002 Ron Paul 92:3
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, H.R. 556 violates the constitutional limits on federal power. Furthermore, laws such as H.R. 556 are ineffective in eliminating the demand for vices such as Internet gambling; instead, they ensure that these enterprises will be controlled by organized crime. Therefore I urge my colleagues to reject H.R. 556, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.

2002 Ron Paul 92:4
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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