Frist Tries to Move Prohibition Bill in US Senate

14 September 2006

Sources close to IGN confirmed yesterday's AP report that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and his aides are meeting with House and Senate representatives in an attempt to piggyback Net gambling prohibition legislation onto the FY 2007 Defense Department Conference Report  (DCR 07).

Frist, R-Tenn., will likely make use of provisions introduced by Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, which target U.S.-based banks, credit card companies and other Internet payment systems, prohibiting them from making payments to online gambling companies.

"The draft that was released this morning contained Leach language," a source familiar with the legislation said. "We've heard from others since that the language may be out, but Frist is trying to put it back in. And it's all kind of closed-door stuff."

The latest reports indicate, however, that the text of DCR 07 does not contain Net gambling prohibition legislation.                                                

"(The situation is) very fluid; it's extremely hard to predict.  The Democrats are going to object, but if the Republicans want to--and the Republicans vote as a block--they've got the votes to overcome those objections," the source said. 

House and Senate conferees are reportedly working to finish DCR 07 by Friday, although the conference may remain open through the weekend to accommodate other legislative initiatives being negotiated between Congress and the White House.   

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.