US Senator and Online Gambling Opponent Jon Kyl Retires

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Arizona Senator Jon Kyl has long been a thorn in the side of US online gambling activists since he’s done everything possible to ban internet betting. In fact, Kyl was the co-author of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which has seriously hampered online gambling. Since the UIGEA was passed in October of 2006, both online casinos and payment processors have been hunted by US authorities for what they deem to be an illegal activity.

In any case, online gambling caught a big break when Kyl announced that he’s planning to retire from Congress at the end of his term (the term ends in 2013). And while gamblers still have to wait two more years for the dark cloud to be lifted, the news is promising considering that he’s the number two-ranking Republican Senator.

Kyl has worked to prevent online gambling since its early days in 1998. He repeatedly referred to internet gambling as the “crack cocaine of gambling,” citing how easily addicted people could become to the activity. In addition to this, he also claimed that children and minors would have no trouble signing up for online gambling sites. However, Kyl was never able to prove any of the aforementioned claims, which is a big reason why he was initially so unsuccessful at banning online gambling.

However, the anti-gambling movement picked up steam within Congress during the mid-2000’s, and so did Kyl’s measures for banning online gambling. Kyl partnered up with Iowa Rep. House member Jim Leach to write the UIGEA bill that eventually passed. But the passage of the bill is still considered questionable today because the bill had yet to be debated by any Congressional committee before passing. In addition to this, the bill’s passage squeaked through at midnight – the day before Congress departed until the 2006 elections.

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