Bob's Back

19 October 1999
National Journal's Technology Daily reports that Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte will introduce an Internet gambling prohibition bill in the House this week. Meanwhile, America Online chimes in.

The publication says the bill would be similar to Arizona Senator Jon Kyl's prohibition act, which has been dormant since it was voted out of committee in June. Representatives Frank LoBiondo, R-NJ, and Bill McCollum, R-FL, will likely be cosponsors. McCollum was originally expected to sponsor the bill.

The three Representatives previously sponsored an Internet gambling prohibition bill, H.R. 4427, that died last year before reaching a House vote.

While last year's House bill would have allowed states to legalize Net betting if they so chose, this year's version generally sticks to the same provisions as the Kyl bill. It does, however, clarify some of the points for which the Kyl bill is criticized. For example, it further defines what fantasy sports betting entails. More importantly, it would not ban land-based casinos from advertising on the Internet, whereas the Kyl bill would.

A very Interesting side note: America Online was named among ISPs who oppose the bill because of its implications on their liability.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of the Kyl bill being brought to the floor for a vote continues to decline as the close of the session nears. Kyl told Newsbytes a few weeks ago that he expected there to be a vote. This week he's not as confident. "Clearly we'd like to move sooner rather than later," said Kyl spokesman Vincent Sollitto. "We're hoping the majority leader would schedule it, but he's got a lot on his plate right now."