Originally posted at Fireside 14 and Daily Kos.
When Republicans first began pushing internet gambling prohibition about ten years ago, it was a fairly straightforward proposition. As the titles of the legislation would indicate — Computer Gambling Prevention Act of 1996, Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997 — these were anti-gambling measures, no doubt about it. And the National Gambling Impact Study Commission report recommendations regarding internet gambling, released in June 1999, called for prohibition “without allowing new exemptions or the expansion of existing federal exemptions to other jurisdictions.”
But there was a problem with this approach. The bills never made it to the floor for a vote. Too many Members had gaming interests in their districts that would be harmed by the legislation. So, in order to sweeten the deal, loopholes began to show up in these bills. So many loopholes, in fact, that House Resources Committee Chairman Don Young wrote to Hastert to complain.