US lawmaker calls Internet gambling ban "

A senior US lawmaker plans to try to overturn a US ban on online gambling, describing the law as 'one of the stupidest things' he ever saw, an AFP report said,

The AFP report also quoted Democrat Congressman Barney Frank, who chairs the House of Representatives financial services committee, as saying that he would introduce a bill in the coming weeks to change the law.

'I thought the online gambling bill we adopted was "&brkbar; one of the stupidest things I ever saw and I want to get it undone, I plan to file legislation,' he was quoted by the AFP report as saying.

Last October, US President George W. Bush followed up earlier legal changes by signing new legislation that effectively put a stranglehold on all Internet gambling by outlawing the processing of Internet bets by US banks, the AFP report said.

Frank was quoted further quoted as saying that 'if the storm of public unhappiness is strong enough, I will try to substantially revise that ban.'

Experts say the vast majority of online gamblers in the US use some 2,000 Web sites that are largely located in offshore centers like Antigua and Gibraltar , the AFP report said.

Americans are the biggest gamblers in the world, accounting for 80% of an estimated $12 billion generated by online gaming, the report further said.