TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Frist Seeks Swift Action on Web Gambling

Frist Seeks Swift Action on Web Gambling

Reuters News Wire (
Fri, 21 Jul 2006 15:57:20 EDT

A bill to ban Internet gambling faces opposition in the U.S. Senate,
but backers still hope to win passage of it within a few weeks, a top
aide to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said on Thursday.

"We are trying to get something done before the August recess," set to
begin on August 4, said Eric Ueland, Frist's chief of staff.

Earlier on Thursday, another Frist aide said lawmakers were still
working on the bill, but would not be able to vote on it before the
Senate heads off for its month-long vacation.

Ueland rejected that characterization, saying Frist had not given up
on getting a vote before the August recess.

Backers of the legislation have hoped to push it through the Senate
this month following the arrest in the United States of David
Carruthers, the chief executive of BETonSPORTS Plc, on charges of
racketeering and conspiracy.

Carruthers is scheduled to appear at a hearing in U.S. District Court
in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday to determine if he must remain in jail
until his trial.

The Senate bill is virtually identical to legislation overwhelmingly
approved earlier in July by the U.S. House of Representatives. It
would prohibit most forms of Internet gambling and make it illegal for
banks and credit card companies to make payments to online gambling

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

Supporters of a crackdown on Internet gambling say legislation is
needed to clarify that a 1961 federal law banning sports betting also
covers an array of online gambling.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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