Mexican president favors legalizing gambling

MEXICO CITY — President Vicente Fox says he may be willing to make a bet on legalizing casino gambling in Mexico. The issue has long pitted those eager for casino income against those who fear the operations could be used to launder drug money. Fox said Tuesday he supported legalized gambling as long it was subject to appropriate controls. “I am in favor of casinos, in a controlled way, above all if they are in areas frequented by foreign tourists,” Fox said at a tourism convention in the Pacific coast resort city of Acapulco. “That is where they should be.” The tourism industry has lobbied for years for legalized gambling with little success, claiming it was needed to make Mexico competitive with other vacation spots which offering legal betting. At present, almost all forms of gambling except lotteries, raffles and betting on horses at few racing tracks are illegal in Mexico. Betting on cockfights is common, though illegal.

INTERNET GAMING Amendment may derail ban bill

WASHINGTON — Momentum to ban Internet gambling came to a screeching halt Wednesday when a House panel voted 16-15 to attach an amendment that broadens its restrictions. The dramatic outcome came down to a final vote cast by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on a key amendment by Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah. With the House Judiciary Committee deadlocked at 15-15, Waters walked over to the chair of Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat. After a brief discussion, Waters announced her vote in favor of Cannon’s amendment, which would remove exemptions granted to technologies employed by state lotteries and the horse racing industry. “I was trying to think of the effect of this amendment and what would happen if it passed. I wanted to slow this (Internet gambling ban) down,” Waters said. “I was trying to ferret out how to signal my distaste with it all,” Waters said. “We need to stop piecemealing what we are going to allow and not allow on the Internet.” The vote on final passage of the Internet gambling ban proposed by Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, was only slightly less compelling. With the committee again deadlocked at 15-15, the outcome hinged once more on the