Nevada Politicians Frown Upon New Law
Two Nevada lawmakers, hoping to repeal a
crackdown on Internet gambling, are working on
legislation that would require the National Academy of
Sciences to conduct an 18-month study of online
Reps. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Jon Porter, R-Nev.,
will co-sponsor the legislation, which is expected to be
unveiled within weeks. Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of
the House Financial Services Committee and a longtime
critic of gambling restrictions, has called last year's
Internet gambling ban "preposterous" and one of the
"stupidest" bills ever passed.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.,
attached the ban to a port security bill that passed in
the waning days of last year's congressional session.
Frank has said he is considering proposing a repeal
of the ban, which aims to shut down 2,300 Internet
gambling sites producing about $12 billion per year.
Berkley said she talked to Frank on Wednesday on the
House floor about Internet gambling and they plan to
meet again "in the very near future." "The purpose of
our bill is to provide a comprehensive study with
detailed information on the expanded growth of Internet
gambling," Berkley said.
To avoid the political arguing that plagued a federal
commission that completed a two-year study of legalized
gambling in June 1999, Berkley and Porter would assign
the Internet gambling study to the National Research
Council, which is an agency of the National Academy of
Berkley's position on Internet gambling has changed
since 2000, when she voted for an online betting ban
proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. And said, "I
would say technology has improved over the last few
years, and I have greater faith in the ability to
regulate Internet gambling so that it does not pose a
threat to minors," Berkley said. Many are hoping
that something comes of this move, and that gambling
eventually becomes regulated and entirely legal.