Outlook dims in US Senate for online gambling bill

29 July 2006

REUTERS
By Peter Kaplan and Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) – Prospects have dimmed for swift U.S. Senate passage of a bill to outlaw most forms of Internet gambling as industry trade groups and lawmakers raise objections, congressional sources said on Wednesday.

Efforts to move a House-passed measure through the Senate have run into opposition from lobbyists representing casino owners and horse- and dog-racing interests in recent days. Some Republican senators have broken ranks and and placed “holds” on it, the sources said.

“The House-passed bill is not going to pass the Senate,” said one source who is knowledgeable about the legislation, adding that changes must be made to win sufficient support.

The industry is a major contributor to some congressional campaigns and sources said opposition could stir up new trouble among senators such as Republicans Jim Bunning and Mitch McConell of Kentucky or Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada.

The industry is a major contributor to some congressional campaigns and sources said opposition could stir up new trouble among senators such as Republicans Jim Bunning and Mitch McConell of Kentucky or Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada.

The bill would prohibit most forms of Internet gambling and make it illegal for banks and credit card companies to make payments to online gambling sites.

The Republican-backed measure has been criticized by some as an election-year appeal to the party’s conservative base.

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