The leading House proponent of an Internet gambling ban doesn’t buy the notion that Congress missed its best chance when it failed last year to prohibit wagering on the World Wide Web.
Chances are better this year, says Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., because there is a new attorney general and a Republican in the White House.
A critic of legalized gambling, Attorney General John Ashcroft voted to outlaw Internet wagering in 1999 when he was a Republican senator from Missouri.
And although President George W. Bush has not taken a position on an Internet gambling ban, Goodlatte said he is confident the new administration will be more cooperative than the Clinton administration.
“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, 48, dismissed the Togel Hari Ini argument that Internet gambling, a $1.5 billion industry last year with revenues projected to reach $6 billion by 2003, simply has grown too big and gained too many powerful allies for Congress to enact a prohibition.
“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 said in an interview. “They’re ripping off consumers.”
State lotteries recorded their first downturn ever in revenues last year, Goodlatte said, and governors blame Internet gambling. When told that some casino executives believe the legalization of Internet gambling is inevitable, Goodlatte said, “We’ll see.”
Goodlatte said he plans to re-introduce his bill in “the next several weeks.” The five-term congressman said he could not be more specific because he is working with various interests to shape the legislation.
Among them is Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who has said he …