While gaming opponents Spencer Bachus scolded the undue influence of online casino lobbyists, a far more powerful and insidious lobby affected Barney Frank’s proposal to license Internet gaming sites. Representative Peter King referred to the NFL’s concern about offering an amendment to H.R. 2267 that stressed that sports betting on the Internet and elsewhere would remain illegal.
Bachus suggested that both the votes of committee members and the statements of experts were influenced by lobbying, which was paid with online gambling dollars. He responded to a statement from California-based John Campbell, in which Campbell listed four community spokesmen for internet groups, financial institutions and civil libertarians who supported the bill and included testimony from two people funded by internet casinos.
Under pressure from Chairman Frank to name his two contaminated suspects, Bachus declined. However, no questions were asked about lobbying and campaign funding from the National Football League, a business association whose interests were clearly represented regardless of the best interests of US citizens.
Frank noted that many of the proposed changes were not related to gambling morale or protecting children, but protectionist attempts to control competition. He said sarcastically that he could understand the NFL’s concern about the bill because “people could start betting on sports” if the amendment wasn’t added.
Illegal sports betting is considered a $ 100 billion industry in the United States.
King directly stated that his change was necessary, although the language in the bill already excludes sports betting from the bill because “the NFL has concerns about gambling.” Even King, who decisively supported Frank’s online casino bills, wanted to appease the impressive power of the NFL.
Other committee members also expressed doubts about the need to create a special sports betting clause, but acknowledged that the argument must move forward. An observer noted that ignoring the special interests will mean repeating the topic soon.
Published on July 28, 2010 by EdBradley