A Closer Look at Kyl's Latest Run at I-Gaming

29 September 2005

IGN has obtained a transcript from Sen. Jon Kyl's, R-Ariz., attempt to attach the latest version of his Unlawful Internet Gambling Bill to a spending bill as well as a copy of the text of his bill. He hoped to pass the measure as an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (HR 2862).

Pleading his case before the Senate, Kyl stated, "It is very troublesome because the process by which we have to consider legislation makes it very difficult for something like this to get floor time and have a week or several days on the floor to debate back and forth, get it passed, and do the same thing with the House and then work out a conference committee and the like. That is why we have had to resort to attaching amendments such as this to appropriations bills or other bills that are on the floor already and moving forward so that we can gain consideration of this issue. It is not particularly contentious. It is certainly not partisan. The legislation has enjoyed wide bipartisan support in both bodies. . . .

". . . All [the bill] does is it allows banks and credit card companies to do what most of them are already doing voluntarily; that is, simply not honoring a credit card debt for Internet gambling."

Kyl stressed the importance of avoiding failures of the past by seizing the current opportunity to pass the bill.

"It is time to get this done before this phenomenon explodes any further and--and I underline this--before the lobbying money of these groups defeats it again," he said. "I will not name names, but people who are today in trouble with the law were partially responsible for the defeat of this legislation previously.

"This kind of money should not be brought to bear as a special interest on our bodies to keep us from adopting important legislation such as this. That is why I have attempted to use the appropriations bill that is before the Senate as the vehicle to bring up this matter again."

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., the ranking member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, objected to the attachment of the Illegal Internet Gambling Bill on the basis that it constitutes general legislation on an appropriations bill and is, therefore, not in order. Kyl asked Mikulski if she would tell him which senators opposed his bill so that he could speak to them later, but Mikulski replied, "I truly do not know. I do know that these parliamentary mechanisms were worked out at the leadership level."

Kyl pointed out that his latest bill is quite similar to the one that passed through the Banking Committee last year.

Wagering on horse races over the Internet would remain legal in states that permit such activity. Because of the horse racing exception, the bill--if it were to pass--would not accomplish U.S. compliance with the World Trade Organization's ruling that the American I-gaming policies violate an agreement on trade and services.

Click here to view a copy of the transcript of Kyl's introduction of his bill as well as the text of the bill.