Have the Tables Turned for Online Gambling? - Thursday 9th of February 2006

NEW YORK As reported by the Legal Times: "Although online gambling is illegal in the United States, you'd never know it by looking at the numbers. Last year alone 7.8 million Americans logged on to Internet gambling sites.

"And with the online gambling industry banking almost $12 billion in revenue in 2005, some U.S. casinos think the time has come to legalize Internet gambling and cash in a position that was considered all but unthinkable until recently.

"This sea change has been a long time in coming.

"...One big problem: Congress doesn't seem ready to take that deal. In fact, some lawmakers, alarmed by the growth of Internet gambling, are actually pushing for a tougher online gaming ban that would increase penalties and potentially force U.S. casinos to stay off-line permanently.

"...The long-simmering debate over online gambling has heated up in Congress over the past few weeks, becoming linked, oddly, to the lobbying reform movement. Lawmakers opposed to online gaming are tying their initiative to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, using the scandal as a catalyst to help pass their legislation.

"...The chances of the gaming industry pushing through favorable online gambling legislation in the near term are slim, especially if the powerful AGA (American Gaming Association) fails to come out in support of such a measure..."

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