Online Gambling Bill Being Pushed For Lame Duck Session

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Online Gambling Lame Duck Session of Congress

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is determined to push through a bill authored by Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank legalizing online gambling during the lame duck session of Congress.  The bill would have to be reintroduced in 2011 should it not become legislation by year’s end.

Casinos in Las Vegas, once opposed to legalized Internet gambling, have been backing Reid’s efforts.

The Associated Press on Saturday morning obtained a copy of the draft legislation for legalized online gambling that Reid aides are currently circulating throughout Congress.  Among the points emphasized within the draft legislation, states and Indian tribes would oversee regulation of the online poker license-holders.

Three Representatives opposed to legalized online gambling have sent out a letter asking that Reid’s effort be stopped.

Representatives Spencer Bachus, an ardent opponent for legalized online gambling, Dave Camp and Lamar Smith are the three representatives opposed to efforts that would have Frank’s Internet gambling bill attached to “must have” legislation likely to pass during the lame duck session of Congress.

Similar tactics were used to pass Internet gambling prohibition (Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act) in October 2006 after that legislation was tacked onto a critical Port Security bill that ultimately sailed through both the House and Senate.

“Creating a federal right to gamble that has never existed in our country’s history and imposing an unprecedented new tax regime on such activity require careful deliberation, not back- room deals,” the lawmakers said in a Dec. 1 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher

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