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Banning Internet gambling would keep Indian casinos out of Utah, lawmaker says

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 7 2012 6:16 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee delayed voting on a bill Tuesday requiring Internet service providers to block online gambling sites while the financial impact is determined.

HB108 would specifically outlaw Internet gaming even though the Utah Constitution already prohibits gambling in any form.

Bill sponsor Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, said the legislation is necessary as a pre-emptive strike against a congressional resolution that would permit online gambling nationwide. If states don't expressly opt out, the bill would automatically allow the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to take effect, he said.

"If we do not do this, we are opening the door for Indian casinos to come into the state," Sandstrom said.

Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, urged the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee to pass HB108.

"I don’t know if the (cost) could get high enough for me not to support it," he said. "I think were gambling with the bill."

Dennis Romboy Twitter: dennisromboy

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