Online Gambling Bill getting Extra Push before Year’s End
Proponents of online gambling are racing to have the Barney Frank-authored internet gambling bill voted on before the end of 2010. If the bill is not voted on before the end of 2010, it will have to go through another long, lengthy process in 2011 just to be considered again.
Luckily for those in favor of online gambling, Senate Majority Leader Henry Reid is doing his best to make sure that the bill receives a vote in the lame duck session of Congress. In addition to Reid’s backing of the bill, most of the major land-based casinos are supporting the bill as well. Land-based casinos were previously opposed to efforts to legalize internet gambling, but they’ve changed their mind after realizing they can get a piece of the market too. It’s not surprising that Reid is doing his best to pass the bill through since major casinos were the biggest contributor to his campaign last year; the MGM company alone donated $192,000.
This is considered the best year for online gambling supporters to get the bill passed with Democrats still controlling Congress. In 2011, opposition is expected to increase since Republicans will hold the majority of Senate and House seats in addition to several key positions. Spencer Bachus, who is set to be the head of the Financial Services Committee, is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of the bill passing. In fact, he went as far as to send out a memo to other Congress members that said, “Congress should not take advantage of the young, the weak and the vulnerable in the name of new revenues to cover more government spending.”
This measure to legalize online gambling is very similar in time frame to the one that hurt internet gambling when the UIGEA was passed; the UIGEA was passed in the last hour of a session taking place prior to a long congressional break.