US Anti Online Gambling Legislation Passed – Sept 9th, 2006
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist last night (Friday) carried out his promise to attach his anti-online gambling measure to any “must pass” legislation available, regardless of relevancy.
After having earlier attempts to attach the measure to defence bills rebuffed, the Senator focused on the Port Security Bill and through some adroit political manouevreing and negotiation managed to attach a compromise measure and thus include it in voting by the House.
The compromise measure focused mainly on hampering online gambling financial channels, and dropped amendments to the Wire Act 1961 itself. Proceedings went on into the early hours of this (Saturday) morning, ending when the vote went overwhelmingly in favour of the Port Security Bill, which carried the compromise internet gaming measure through on its skirts despite reservations by several politicians.
The Port Security Bill and its attachments will now go forward to a voice vote in the Senate, after which bureaucratic process and the President’s signature are believed to be the only delays in bringing it to law.
Changes to the Bill, as well as the attachment of the internet gambling provisions, angered some Democrats, who helped craft the original port security legislation but were largely blocked from the final negotiations. The Senate had overwhelmingly approved the authorisation of $3.5 billion for mass-transit security grants and $1 billion for freight and passenger rail programs, but House Republicans balked at the cost.
“If Republicans leave town [after] stripping out all the sections protecting major sectors of out transportation sector, God help us if there’s an attack,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.). Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), whose home-state casinos are split over the Internet gambling measure, briefly weighed scuttling the bill over the provision before agreeing to go along, aides said.