Gibbons has promise anti-sports betting bill "going nowhere"

Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., said Monday that House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois has told him the NCAA's anti-sports betting legislation is going nowhere.

Gibbons made the statement as he filed for a third term representing Nevada's Congressional District 2, which includes almost all of Nevada outside Las Vegas.

The bill would bar Nevada casinos from taking bets on any college sports, which the National Collegiate Athletics Association says is designed to rid college athletics of any influence from professional gamblers.

Nevada casinos, state officials and the congressional delegation including Gibbons say all the bill would do is eliminate the only legitimate, controlled and regulated college sports betting.

"I met with Speaker Hastert and he has said to me he has no intention of that bill seeing the light of day once it gets to the House," said Gibbons.

On another topic, Gibbons said he has "serious reservations" about Sen. Richard Bryan's proposed National Conservation Area for the Black Rock Desert. Gibbons, who has a degree in geology, said he is most concerned about the fact that would prohibit mining and geothermal development in the Black Rock 70 miles north of Reno.

But he said he wants to review the language in detail before taking a position on the proposal.

He said he thinks it important for Gov. George Bush to "state his position" on Yucca Mountain and "the sooner the better." He said he has talked with Bush about Nevada's objections to national GOP attempts to force the dump on Nevada and to change the environmental standards which have caused problems for proponents who want the high level nuclear dump built 75 miles north of Las Vegas.

"From my discussions with George Bush, he's willing to listen to Nevada," said Gibbons. "He believes sound science, not politics, should be the criteria."

But he admitted Bush has thus far refused to tell him what he would do if faced with a bill like the one President Clinton vetoed last week.


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