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In the high-stakes poker game of politics, online gambling lobbyists lost a monster hand late last month after Congress passed legislation prohibiting financial institutions from making payments to online gambling sites.

The long-standing issue came to a head after presidential hopeful Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., became the torchbearer for conservative groups lobbying to ban Internet gambling. Despite repeated attempts by gaming groups such as the Poker Players Alliance and the International Interactive Alliance to stymie the debate, Frist’s maneuvering proved too difficult to overcome.

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