IWF JOINS COALITION LETTER OPPOSING FEDERAL BAN ON INTERNET GAMBLING
Groups Urge Congress to Stand Strong Against H.R. 4301
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In a letter sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, leading conservative and free-market organizations – including Carrie Lukas of Independent Women's Voice – insists Congress oppose the Restoration of America's Wire Act (H.R. 4301), legislation that would essentially ban Internet gaming, a decision the signees believe goes too far and should ultimately be left to the states. The organizations in opposition say H.R. 4301 is a broad overreach by the federal government that will drastically increase the federal government's regulatory power over the Internet. (VIEW PDF)
April 28, 2014
Dear Chairmen Goodlatte and Leahy, and Ranking Members Conyers and Grassley,
We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are writing to express our deep concerns about the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 4301), which would institute a de facto ban on internet gaming in all 50 states. The legislation is a broad overreach by the federal government over matters traditionally reserved for the states. H.R. 4301 will reverse current law in many states and drastically increase the federal government’s regulatory power. As we have seen in the past, a ban will not stop online gambling. Prohibiting states from legalizing and regulating the practice only ensures that it will be pushed back into the shadows where crime can flourish with little oversight. In this black market, where virtually all sites are operated from abroad, consumers have little to no protection from predatory behavior.
Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that this bill allows 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. We fear that H.R. 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.
H.R. 4301 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, H.R. 4301 is an inappropriate and unnecessary use of federal powers that infringes on the rights of individuals and states. We applaud you for standing against this government overreach and preserving the principles of federalism and free-market competition that underscore American democracy.
Alliance for Freedom
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Institute for Liberty
American Consumer Institute
Independent Women’s Forum
Institute for Policy Innovation
R Street Institute
Taxpayer Protection Alliance
Independent Women's Forum works to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free-markets and personal liberty.