Supporters have argued that despite the setbacks, Republican leaders must pass a ban on online betting until Congress adjourns this year.

Priest approached Senator John Warner, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and asked him to add an internet gambling ban to the National Defense Authorization bill, according to congressional staff who spoke on condition of anonymity.

But Warner rejected the online betting ban because it had nothing to do with the defense law after checking with Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the committee’s top Democrat.

A close aide to Priest confirmed that the majority leader had made an offer to Warner, but gave no details.

After hearing Priest’s proposal, Democrat Shelley Buckley wrote to Warner urging him to reject any amendments banning online betting.

“We should not use this important (defense) bill as a convenient means for political pet issues such as banning internet games,” Buckley said.

Buckley opposed a ban on internet gambling, which passed House 317-93 in July.

Although the Justice Department said internet gambling is illegal, the $12 billion industry continues to grow, with more than 2,300 websites.

Priest, who was mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2008, criticized online betting during a visit to Iowa in August.

During his time in Iowa, Priest held informal on-site hearings critical of internet gambling with R-Iowa, one of the main sponsors of the ban, and Representative Jim Leach.

On Sept. 5, when Congress returned from its August recess, Priest addressed the Senate and raised the ban on internet gambling to one of his priorities as Congress ran toward recess. Priest’s second term expires this year, and he is not running for reelection.온라인카지노

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