In just hours after the House Judiciary Committee ended its hearing to determine the future course of Internet gambling media companies have already begun printing articles saying how Catherine Hanaway, an attorney for the Department of Justice and a witness at today’s Hearing, has declared all Internet gambling illegal.
This, however, is in direct contrast to what we reported earlier in the day.
What actually happened at the hearing is that Ms. Hanaway contradicted herself many times. When asked if she, and the Department of Justice, considered all online gambling to be illegal, she said she believed it was. When asked if it was illegal for US citizens to gamble online, she said, no, that there are currently no federal laws that prohibit any US citizens from placing a bet online.
When prodded by a congressman on the panel about how she could consider all gambling illegal if it was legal for US citizens to play, and also how gambling could be considered illegal across the board when there are clear exceptions for horse race betting and state run lotteries, she seemed less unsure.
She was also asked why, if all Internet gambling was considered illegal by her department, there are only federal cases brought against companies who participate in the facilitation of sports betting. Again, she seemed unclear as how to respond, although she did say that BetonSports had a horse betting side of their company which they considered illegal.
Online sports betting, as pointed out several times in the hearing, is the only thing proven to be covered in the 1961 Wire Act. Hanaway simply believes that to not be true, even though a 5th Circuit court judge ruled that it did not cover any other casino games, such as poker, blackjack, or slots.
It is apparent that the media will select whatever testimony it deems appropriate to push its personal stance on this issue, as opposed to presenting the facts of the Hearing and the full testimony by all.
Stay tuned to Casino Gambling Web for further analysis of today’s extensive hearing on the future of Internet gambling.