WASHINGTON - A bill that would prohibit the use of credit cards and other bank-issued payment instruments to pay for or collect winnings from Internet gambling was introduced in the House Wednesday.

Reps James A. Leach, R-Iowa; John J. LaFalce, D-N.Y.; and Richard H. Baker, R-La., characterized the bill they are co-sponsoring as a way to protect people from an especially addictive form of gambling. "While gambling may be a source of recreation for millions of Americans, gambling on the Internet can be particularly destructive to families and an especially easy way for young people to lose extraordinary amounts of money," said Rep. Leach, chairman of the Housing Banking Committee.

The bill is called the Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act. Bank instruments that would be included in the ban are: credit cards, debit cards, electronic fund transfers, checks, and bank drafts.

The bill is designed to support the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which the House Judiciary Committee approved last month. This bill would expand a ban on gambling over telephone lines to include Internet gambling.

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