Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist went on record last week in support of legislation that will ban Internet gambling and promised to bring the bill forward as Congress reconvenes this week after a summer hiatus.
Frist, a Republican from Tennessee, made his remarks at an Internet gaming hearing at Coe College in Iowa that was chaired by Congressman Jim Leach, R-Iowa, the sponsor of the House-passed bill that would ban the use of credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers to pay online gambling debts.
The only opposition to the Leach bill heard at the hearing came in a letter from Nevada Congressman Jon Porter, who wrote that a ban would not be effective and urged instead that the Congress establish a committee to study the Internet gambling problem.
Deputy Iowa Atty. Gen. Mark Vander Linden cited the Internet as "the most serious problem related to gambling."
Also expressing concerns about gambling and its impact on sports was Merton Hanks, the former University of Iowa football star who later played in the NFL. He noted that he struggled to avoid gamblers during his career but felt the pressures were even greater today because of the Internet.
"I do not think that this increased betting is healthy for the sport I love, nor is it good for the players who are playing as hard as they can to win games, not to cover a bet," said Hanks who is now the NFL’s senior manager of football operations.