Automated teller machines and other cash-dispensing terminals would be banned from the gambling floors of casinos under legislation introduced by Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Tonawanda.
The presence of ATMs, credit card terminal, electronic cash machines on gambling floors, LaFalce said "not only feeds compulsive behavior, but makes it easier for problem gamblers to bet all of their available cash, draw down their bank accounts and then tap into available credit lines of their credit cards as well."
LaFalce, top Democrat on the House Banking Committee, said the prohibition could contribute to "a separation" helping "to break the excitement of the moment."
The legislation would not ban such devices from the buildings in which gambling occurs.
His bill follows a recommendation issued by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission that said "because the easy availability of automated teller machines and credit machines encourages some gamblers to wager more than they intended, the Commission recommends that states, tribal governments, and pari-mutuel facilities ban credit card cash advance machines and other devices activated by debit or credit cards from the immediate area where gambling takes place."
The commission was created because of legislation LaFalce introduced in 1995. His bill was adopted in 1996 over the objections of the National Indian Gaming Association and casino gambling interests.
While the federal government's jurisdiction over gambling per se within states or Indian reservations is unclear, Congress has authority to direct the Federal Reserve to publish and enforce rules ensuring that all electronic transfers of cash and credit are segregated from the gambling area in such establishments.