Arizona Senator To Push Internet Gaming Bill Again

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Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said he will try again to usher Internet gambling restrictions through the Senate, even though it is an election year.

"My plan is to try to get it up for a vote," Kyl, the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Wednesday report. He said he did not know when a vote might occur.

Kyl's bill was approved by the Senate Banking Committee in July, but failed to make it to full Senate vote in 2003. Among other restrictions, it would prohibit Nevada and other states from legalizing online wagering within their borders.

That provision is opposed by the American Gaming Association, the casino industry's chief lobbying arm in Washington, D.C.

The prohibition against states was not included in a bill that cleared the House in June by a vote of 319-104.

If the Senate passes Kyl's bill and lawmakers resolve differences with the House measure, Internet gambling restrictions could become law by the end of the year.

Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., said they oppose Internet gambling, but do not support Kyl's bill.

Ensign said it could not be enforced, and said tribal gambling in California and Arizona posed a bigger threat to the Nevada economy than Internet gambling.

Estimates of online wagers last year surpassed $4.2 billion on more than 1,800 offshore Web sites.