Frist fails in bid to attach online gambling ban to military bill

The National Right for Online Gaming (NROG) confirmed through their sources in Washington D.C. that Senator Bill Frist failed in his attempt to add the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act to a Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bill.

The Senate Majority Leader was attempting to push the online gambling ban through the Senate by attaching it to a bill that authorizes military operations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The move would have moved it through the Senate without having it taken to a floor vote.

The NROG has three sources they're working with to gather information about what's going on with the bill. Jason Bailey, NROG director of development, said one of their sources knew as early as Friday that Frist's effort had failed, but it was confirmed by all of their sources this week.

"We were hesitant to announce this 'victory' until all three of our sources confirmed it," Bailey said. "The actual DOD bill will be out of conference today, but we are confident in our sources that the gambling language has been removed."

Frist came up against opposition from both sides of the online gambling issue as well as from both the Senate and the House during his attempt. According to the NROG some people wanted all of H.R. 4411 added to the DOD bill, not just the payment process part, while others didn't want it at all.

"Most opposition came from those on the Armed Services Committee," Bailey said. "Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senator John Warner (R-Va.) were the two most influential, although it's important to note there were several other key players that stopped him - this time."

Frist will likely continue to look for another bill to attach the online gambling ban to as the remaining days of the session wind down for the year and time runs out for the Senate to bring the bill to a vote.

"I believe Frist will try to keep it closer to the vest this time to avoid the outrage that he received when he went after the DOD bill. I don't think he expected it to raise as many eyebrows as it did," Frist said. "Expect him to take a much more quiet approach if he tries it again. Our sources tell us he has every intention of doing so."

The NROG, a nonprofit organization created to help fight an online gambling ban, is urging people to continue their efforts to make their voices heard on the online gambling issue by calling, writing, an e-mailing their representatives in Congress in order to prevent the bill from passing or being attached to other legislation.

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