Thursday, September 14, 2006

Real life is rocking me right now. I'm gonna get back to regular postings once things settle down, I swear.

My shining moment at work this week was strolling around in a new shirt with the big ol' price tag still hanging off the back.

Very smooth.

Anyway, I just saw this article on the AP wire and thought I'd pass it along.


Frist trying to piggyback credit card ban on military funding authorization

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is trying use a bill authorizing U.S. military operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, to prohibit people from using credit cards to settle Internet gambling debts.

Frist, R-Tenn., and his aides have been meeting with other lawmakers and officials in both the House and Senate to get the measure attached to a compromise Defense Department authorization bill, according to a Senate GOP leadership aide.

The House passed a version of the Internet gambling measure in July, but the Senate has taken no action on similar legislation. Neither of the defense bills passed by the House and Senate mention it.

Frist is pushing for an approach that isn’t quite as sweeping as the House measure, said the leadership aide and lobbyists following the issue. All spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing negotiations.

Frist, eyeing a 2008 presidential bid, recently discussed the online gambling measure in the politically important state of Iowa. He also called it a legislative priority in a recent speech on the Senate floor.

The measure’s supporters include the National Football League as well as conservative and antigambling groups. Some banking groups are lobbying against it.

Federal officials have made recent arrests involving offshore companies operating Internet gambling sites. The Internet gambling industry is headquartered almost entirely outside the United States although many of its customers live in the U.S.

The bills authorizing defense programs are: S.2507 and H.R.5122.


Update from my favorite 2+2 political analyst on this latest snippet of news:

- If the language being floated by Frist (and I 100% guarantee there is language circulating, although a select few staffers may have access to it) is as narrow as the newspapers are reporting, it could represent a MAJOR win for online poker players. Few players I am aware of use credit cards, and as I have said before, there may be very good public policy reasons for prohibiting credit cards from being used to finance gambling.

Passage of a credit card only provision would not amend the Wire Act, and would not enact some of the other sweeping changes I have seen online poker players expressing concern about. Plus, passage of the narrow legislation would likely forestall passage of other, more comprehensive legislation for at least a year, if not longer. Once Congress acts on an issue, it is usually loathe to revisit it for a long while.

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