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Barney Frank Introduces Anti-UIGEA Bill

By: Adam Richards, Friday March 18th 2011
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Barney Frank had introduced the anti-UIGEA bill HR 2267 in the 111th Congress. With the end of the two year term of the 111th Congress the slate was wiped clean and HR 2267 was removed from the rostrum without having seen a discussion or a vote on the floor of the House. At that time the bill had about 70 co-sponsors. Now, according to a press release from the House Committee on Financial Services another bill has been introduced in the 112th Congress with the same objective as HR 2267. The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act was introduced in the House on March 17, 2011, by Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) with Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) as a leading sponsor. Congressmen Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Peter King (R-NY) are also leading co-sponsors. As per the press release this bill is identical to HR 2267.

Referring to the fact that the UIGEA has not been able to prevent Americans from gambling online, Campbell said, "Clearly, Americans want to gamble on the Internet, and policymakers need to provide both the freedom to do so, as well as ensure that appropriate consumer protections are in place." Barney Frank said, "I'm pleased to be working with John Campbell as a cosponsor of the bill. We worked together last year and I think this promises to be one of those unfortunately rare times when bipartisan activity can work."

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) was the first pro online gambling organization to come out in support of the new anti-UIGEA bill. The PPA prefers federal legislation because it feels that state laws will limit the pool of players and serving to only protect the Americans in those states. The statement from the PPA read, "The time is now for Congress to step up and pass federal legislation, like the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, that allows the entire country to benefit."

The new anti-UIGEA bill, like the earlier one, requires licensed online casino and poker room operators to take appropriate safeguards to prevent fraud, money laundering, underage and compulsive gambling. It prevents online advertising targeted toward underage or compulsive gamblers; prohibits licensees from accepting wagers from persons on the self excluded list; prevents the use of a credit card to make deposits at online casinos; prohibits sports betting; requires that players set financial loss limits and requires a substantial U.S. presence as a condition of obtaining a license.

The HR 2267 had a difficult time and could not even move halfway despite its lead sponsor being chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Now online gambling's staunchest opponent Spencer Bachus chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and one can be assured that there will be no smooth sailing for the new anti-UIGEA bill.

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