Internet Gambling Bill Hits Barrier
By staff
In a move that many feel may prevent passage of the Online Gambling Bill altogether, the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 16-15 to modify legislation that would block credit-card payments to gambling websites, removing language exempting lawful casinos and other state-licensed gambling.

The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Chris Cannon, claimed his reasons stemmed from fears that gambling would be legalised in his home state of Utah. However, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte said Cannon's amendment could sink the bill as casinos, dog tracks and other gambling businesses would fight the bill through current regulatory mechanisms, claiming to be singled out. 'Don't jump into that thicket', he pleaded. The Cannon Amendment would also prevent Nevada from reviving a study on Internet gambling regulation.

Presumably Goodlatte took no comfort from the decisive vote being cast by Dem. Maxine Waters, who stated, 'I wanted to slow this down and signal my distaste with it all. We need to stop piecemealing what we are going to allow and not allow on the net.'

Dan Walsh of the Interactive Gaming Council sounded a positive note.

'The Cannon Amendment does not make this a better bill, but it makes it a more honest one. Either you want Internet gambling or you don't. And this makes the bill harder to pass.'

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