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
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 Sciences.
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. stating, "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," . Many are hoping that something
comes of this move, and that gambling eventually becomes
regulated and entirely legal.