New law seeks to block offshore gambling dens

After four years of stalling, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) regulations went into effect Tuesday, June 2.

The law will work to block thousands of international gambling operations from preying on U.S. citizens and make it easier for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute illegal operations, according to

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the new law will have an impact almost immediately.

“This is going to be a new tool for both federal and state law enforcement officials,” he said.

Some members of Congress, including Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., have been dragging their feet hoping to get lawmakers to legalize online gambling.  Frank has introduced a bill with a goal of decriminalizing the industry and gleaning federal tax revenues.

John Kindt, professor of business and legal policy at the University of Illinois, said such politicians ignore the social costs associated with gambling and addiction.

“Gambling on the Internet destabilizes economies, it destabilizes financial systems, it would make all of our economic problems worse,” he said.  “This would put the worst form of gambling at every school desk, at every work desk and in every living room.”

LDS Church has warned members, publicly opposes legalized gambling

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to gambling, including lotteries sponsored by governments.  Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling.

The LDS Church’s stand is significant, being one of few public policy issues upon which the Church maintains an official position and gives specific guidance to its members worldwide.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a noted legal scholar and member of the Church’s quorum of the Twelve Apostles, enunciated the Church’s position in a 1987 address, calling legalized gambling “morally wrong and politically unwise.”

Gambling as an issue relating to personal freedom will be the subject of a feature article on in the near future.