Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) hosted a field hearing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last week to talk about the online gambling ban that's working its way through Congress. While they had speakers representing their side of the issue, only one letter was read in opposition of the ban.
Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, said most people don't know that gambling online is illegal in the United States, which is why the government has a responsibility to act on the matter. The House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 4411, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, in July, and the bill is waiting for a Senate vote.
Merton Hanks, National Football League senior manager of football operations and former University of Iowa football player, was on hand to talk about gambling and how avoiding gambling is more difficult for players with the popularity of online gambling.
The hearing, chaired by Leach, who initially sponsored the House bill, brought together many people who urged Frist to move forward on the Senate version of the bill. If an exact version of the bill is passed in the Senate, it would just need the President's signature to become law.
The only opposition expressed at the hearing was from a letter from Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.) which was read by one of Leach's aides. In the letter, the congressman said a ban wouldn't be effective, and that a committee should study online gambling before Congress acts to pass any laws for or against it.
Related articles: PPA Urges Iowa Residents to Speak Up and Congressman Submits Alternate Online Gambling Legislation.