Internet Gaming Opponent Optimistic of Bill's Chances

A Republican Congressman who will reintroduce legislation to ban gambling over the Internet is optimistic of the bill's chances as a result of last fall's presidential election. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he the legislation should get favorable treatment by the Bush administration.

Although President Bush has not taken a stand on the Internet gambling bill, the Review-Journal noted that new U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft voted to ban Internet gambling in 1999 when he was serving as a U.S. senator from Missouri.
In the last Congress, the (Clinton) administration was resisting the bill," Goodlatte said. "This year, I think we'll get everybody on board heading in the same direction."

Goodlatte noted that his legislation, which will be re-introduced "within the next several weeks," would also have support from state governments that have seen lottery sales decline. "There is growing concern by state governments in particular because these illegal, unregulated, untaxed offshore gaming operations are sucking increasingly large numbers of money out of the country," Goodlatte told the newspaper. "They're ripping off consumers."

Goodlatte did not provide specifics of his pending legislation, noting that he is conferring with other interests in putting the bill together. Among those involved in the process is Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who plans to re-introduce an Internet gaming ban in the Senate. The Senate approved Kyl's bill on a voice vote last year and the House on a 245-159 vote approved Goodlatte's legislation. The bill failed, however, because it did not obtain the two-thirds majority needed for passage under an expedited voting process. According to the Review-Journal, Kyl will not move forward with his legislative plans until after Goodlatte's bill has been introduced.

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