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Anne Lindner

Goodlatte Effort DeLayed

12 July 2002

A high-ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday said that legislative parties must come to an agreement concerning the anti-Internet gambling bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.

House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, is concerned that the Goodlatte bill does not address states' rights.

"What we want to see is all interested parties working together to ban Internet gambling without infringing upon states' rights.
-Jonathan Grella
Spokesman for Rep. DeLay

"DeLay was an original co-sponsor of the Goodlatte bill and remains supportive of Congressman Goodlatté's longtime effort to ban the illegal gambling that takes place on the Internet," said DeLay's spokesman, Jonathan Grella. "And DeLay is also a longtime proponent of states' rights. So what we want to see is all interested parties working together to ban Internet gambling without infringing upon states' rights.

On Wednesday, DeLay met with Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., who is chairman of the House Gaming Caucus, as well as Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J. and Rep. Jerry Wilder, R-Ill. Also at the meeting was Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association.

Gibbons' spokeswoman said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss gaming legislation and the need to protect states' rights.

"Congressman Gibbons is concerned that the Goodlatte bill in its current form does not protect states' rights," Amy Spanbauer said. "If we're going to enact Internet gaming prohibitions, which the congressman has supported in the past, we need to make sure that we can still protect the rights of states like Nevada and others that have gaming interests."

When asked who the parties are that DeLay would like to be in agreement on the Goodlatte bill, DeLay's spokesman said he wouldn't name them specifically.

"I'm not going to get specific," Grella said. "There are many different congressmen who are interested in this issue, and actually, to tell you the truth, this is not an issue that we have a heavy involvement in."

Goodlatte's office declined to comment on the matter.

Goodlatte's bill would make Internet gambling illegal in the United States by updating the 1961 Interstate Wire Act. On June 18, the bill was passed by the Judiciary Committee and now awaits hearing before the full House. However, on that same day, it was amended to delete its exemptions for the horseracing, lottery and casino industries. Now, instead of having those industries' support, it has their opposition.

Goodlatte Effort DeLayed is republished from
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner