More Congressional Action on UIGEA (But No Results Yet!)

by Lou on February 4, 2009

Representative Barney Frank, (D-MA) chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (pictured left), plans to reintroduce a bill within the next month to set up a licensing and regulatory framework for online gaming.
Frank also expects anti-gambling regulations, rushed through in the final weeks of the Bush administration, to be included among those Congress may rescind.
Although Frank was quoted as saying, “I expect an Obama Department of Justice to be less zealous about locking people up. These outrageous arrests in transit—they should be stopping that stuff,” it doesn’t look like a slam-dunk deal to me. During his confirmation hearings Attorney General Eric Holder told Senator John Kyl that he was dead set on enforcing the provisions of Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), and it’s hard to know for sure where those chips will fall.
Today the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law is holding a hearing entitled, “Midnight Rulemaking: Shedding Some Light,” and one of the items set for discussion is HR 34, the Midnight Rule Act, which might undo UIGEA’s newly imposed regulations.
The hearing is more broadly oriented than UIGEA and is aimed at a legislative fix for midnight rulemaking—the term for last-minute regulations passed by an outgoing administration.
And even if HR 34 were passed, there is no guarantee that UIGEA regulations would be among those rules overturned.

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