Support Growing for Barney Frank’s Bill to License and Regulate Online Gaming

by Lou on July 24, 2007

Support is growing for the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA), the bill that was introduced in April by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee. IGREA, also known as HR 2046, seeks to license and regulate online gambling in the United States. Online poker and gaming companies licensed under Frank’s bill would be exempt from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was passed in October.

Support for this bill seems to have gotten legs, and five additional Congress members signed-on to sponsor the legislation. The list of co-sponsors now tallies 32.

Frank’s bill is not the only one that would deal with the issue of online gaming. Florida Congressman Robert Wexler introduced the Skill Game Protection Act. That bill would provide exemption for games of skill, such as online poker.

Wexler also asked poker players to involve themselves in the political process by contacting their local representatives: “…..what [players] ought to do is let their opinions be known to their member of Congress. One – let them know that they’re aware of the current law that was passed by the last Congress, which hopefully they think is ludicrous. They don’t need to spell out in specifics everything that needs to be done. They just need to tell the member of Congress ‘We think the law that was passed last Congress is awful!'”

Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley sponsored a bill called The Internet Gambling Study Act that calls for a one-year study of the online gambling industry.

You can find previous reports on all three bills by entering the names of their sponsors into the search engine at the top of this blog.

“Every American,” according to Wexler, “whether they are Conservative Republican or Liberal Democrat, or anywhere in between should be asking themselves with all that is going wrong in the world, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s Iran’s nuclear quest, whether it’s social security, not having enough money necessarily to make it through the next century, Medicare short falls, education problems… Why would Congress invest itself so to create this extraordinary prohibition of preventing consenting adults from playing poker on the Internet when we know in past experience prohibition doesn’t work? The net result unfortunately will be people forced to play the Internet, playing poker on the Internet on offshore sites where they’re not secure. They will be playing on Russian sites, or Caribbean sites. There will be no regulation by American governmental structures; there will be no revenue to American governmental structures. It’s counterproductive and also in my mind it violates the very personal freedoms that we cherish as Americans.”

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