At the 11th hour, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist managed to attach his anti-gambling bill to the Ports Security Bill and both bills were subsequently passed through the Senate.
The bill now only needs to be signed by President George Bush to become law, and it is widely expected he will sign it before congressional elections early in November to gain support from the political right.
There are those that believe the Republican moves to restrict the accessibility of payments to online gambling institutions is more likely to be due to a desire to restrict the flow of money to overseas-owned gambling institutions, many of which are publicly listed on the UK Stock Exchange.
I received a call from R today, saying he got my message (about something else unrelated to this entry) and to ask if I had been following recent gambling related legislation. I told him no, I haven't, so he related the news (see above) to me.
Normally, this would elicit another “government can't tax it, so let's ban it—typical government” comment from me before going on with my life, but in this case, it does affect me. I've mentioned once or twice that I help manage some servers with hundreds of gambling related marketing sites, and if this is actually passed into law and has any level of enforcement, it looks like R may be closing up shop in 270 days (number of days sites have to become compliant with the new law), since the majority of his income is from hosting said hundreds of gambling related sites.
I'd hate to see it go, since despite a few problems, it's not a hard job and it makes for some nice supplimental income (and some good stories; I also doubt R makes much from the hundred or so non-gambling related sites he also hosts).
But we'll see how this situation pans out in the coming months.