Gambling Industry Pushes for Online Bill

Article excerpt

LAS VEGAS - It doesn't look like Congress will pass Internet gambling regulatory laws this year, the head of the industry's main lobbying group said Tuesday, as he cast online wagering hosted by sites overseas as one of the biggest threats to the casino industry in the United States.

American Gaming Association chief Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. called online gambling the next frontier of our business, but told reporters in Las Vegas that passing a measure such as one backed by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona would need quick action during the postelection congressional session.

We will need plenty of hard work and a little gambler's luck to see a federal bill pass this year, Fahrenkopf said during his annual state-of-the-industry media briefing at the Global Gaming Expo. Obviously, nothing is going to happen before the election. That means a lame duck (session) is our last chance.

Fahrenkopf, a former Republican party national chairman, said about 85 countries have legalized online gambling, and some estimates say almost $35 billion is being bet worldwide online each year, including many millions by people in the U.S.

These are numbers generated with only minor participation by players in the U.S., Fahrenkopf said, citing figures from an industry researcher, H2 Gaming Capital. …