The Washington Post
Welcome to the poker "lobby." We'll start you with $300,000...
published an interesting read
earlier this week about Dems in Congress who are gunning to overturn laws that make Internet gambling illegal. Rep. Barney Frank
and others want the government to regulate cyber-wagering
in poker, and mah-jong, among other games, and, of course, to cash in. Quoth the Post
: "The federal government, which rarely
prosecutes online gambling, would net billions of dollars in tax and licensing revenue if it were legalized, proponents say."
As St. Louis readers know, it sucks to be in that "rarefied" company...
and Gary Kaplan
, the former big-wigs behind
, recently got sentenced to prison for running a
huge offshore Internet gambling business.
U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway
took more than three years -- and was
hailed by the feds as the largest cyber-betting crackdown in history.
reports that more than $4 million in lobbying fees for legalizing online gambling have been thrown onto the table in Washington during this last year. A major beneficiary? Former Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt.
Among the backers is former House majority leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), a lobbyist for PokerStars, a major Internet gambling firm based on the Isle of Man. Gephardt registered to represent the firm on Aug. 4  and earned $300,000 through December , disclosure forms show. His firm declined to comment on its work for PokerStars.
Still, if Gephardt greases a lot of wheels and gets Frank's legislation through Congress, it probably won't console guys like Carruthers and Kaplan. As of now, online sports betting is one form of cyber-wagering that would remain illegal.
As the Post
reports, the National Football League
is a vocal opponent of the proposed bill.