Lawmakers look to crack down on Internet gambling

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers took aim at Internet gambling in two separate bills Tuesday.
Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, said he introduced HB108 as a pre-emptive strike against federal legislation that would legalize online gaming and gambling with handheld devices. The federal bill would legalize Internet gambling unless the state specifically opts out, he said.
“This is just a safety measure to make sure Utah stays gambling free,” said Sandstrom, who is running for Congress.
Utah prohibits any form of gambling.
HB108 has not had a committee hearing.
Also Tuesday, the House passed HB40 to eliminate vague wording in the state’s law banning gambling that some Internet cafes have claimed allows them to run games of chance.
Bill sponsor Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George, said those cafes have become “havens for criminal activity.” The bill, he said, tightens up the language so cops can police them more effectively.
The bill now moves to the Senate.

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