Republicans Fear Secret Online Gambling Bill

03 December 2010

At least three Republicans in the U.S. House, Representatives Spencer Bachus, Dave Camp and Lamar Smith are raising a concern over what they see as an effort in this lame duck session of Congress to pass legislation that would legalize online gambling in the United States.

According to a Bloomberg article, these same three Representatives sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying;

“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.”

“We also are concerned that this new rush to embrace Internet casino gambling might be partially motivated by one of the gravest sins that afflicts this Congress: desperation for more tax dollars to pay for ever-increasing federal spending. Congress should not take advantage of the young, the weak and the vulnerable in the name of new revenues.”

They also said that getting this bill approved by attaching this to a must pass legislation would be “a secretive, closed-door, undemocratic process”; how quickly some Republicans forget how the UIGEA was passed in October 2006.

Maybe some of this will sound familiar and possibly bring back some memories overlooked by current Representatives. The UIGEA was attached at the last minute to the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 (or SAFE Port Act) in 2006. This “must pass” bill was, of course, passed at midnight on the day Congress adjourned for the 2006 elections.

Who was responsible for getting this “secretive, closed-door, undemocratic process” done in 2006; Republican Jim Leach, Republican Bob Goodlatte, Republican Bill Frist and Republican Jon Kyl. So now the roles are reversed and for those of us that want to gamble online in the U.S., it has been a long time coming.

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