Gambling bill vote not expected before August break

An aide in the U.S. Senate Majority Leader's office told media today that it's not likely the Senate will get a chance to vote on the Internet gambling bill before its August recess. The Senate is working on a bill that is virtually identical to the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act recently passed by the House of Representatives.

That report was later rebutted by Eric Ueland, Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist's chief of staff, who said Frist hadn't given up on getting a vote before August and they're trying to get something done before the Senate takes its month-long vacation.

Supporters of the legislation would like to see the Senate push through the legislation this month, especially after the arrest of David Carruthers, BetonSports chief executive, who is being charged with racketeering and conspiracy related to the company's Web site accepting sports bets from U.S. citizens.

The legislation, passed in the House July 11, will clarify current laws and effectively ban all online betting except for state-run lotteries and horse race betting.

While the bill will be facing much opposition in the Senate, it does have some support. Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has tried in the past to get similar bills passed in the Senate with no luck. After the House's vote though, he said he would aggressively pursue it in the Senate.

The Senate must pass an identical bill to the one the House passed before it can be given to the President to be signed into law.

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