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US appears to soften ban on online betting

Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 16:16

Washignton: The Obama administration appears
to have softened a US ban on Internet gambling.

In a legal opinion posted yesterday, the Justice
Department said online betting unrelated to sporting events
falls outside the reach of federal law.

The US government has long considered such gambling
illegal when it crosses state lines.

The gambling industry is worth billions worldwide but
many operators are based overseas. Washington has cracked down
on some of them, and a 2006 law forbade financial institutions
from processing funds for most online wagering.

Because of the difficulty in enforcing age and other
requirements, the issue has divided lawmakers and the
industry. But several states have been studying plans for web
betting within states.

The opinion letter was first reported by the Wall Street


First Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 16:16

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