July 28, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — The bill that would create new, more liberal online gambling laws in the United States, House Finance Committee Chairman Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), has hit a new milestone: The bill now has 50 sponsors representing 23 different states.

With 435 total members of the House, that means that more than 1 in every 10 representatives is already on board. That’s a big head start and a good sign that, when the bill is finally put up for voting, it has a good shot at getting passed, and without extensive rewriting.

Currently, speculation is that the bill will be put up for voting in September; Frank is currently focusing on other, more media-friendly stories and building support for the bill, perhaps having learned his lessons after his efforts to pass this kind of legislation failed last year. 

"Reaching this milestone illustrates that momentum is growing for a shift in U.S. policy and a rewrite of U.S. Internet gambling laws," Jeffrey Sandman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, said in a news release issued by that organization.

"The list of supporters will continue to grow as more representatives are educated on the subject and increasingly hear from their constituents that Internet gambling regulation presents the only viable way to protect consumers, since attempts to prohibit the activity have completely failed. We also expect an increased spotlight on Internet gambling as a way to augment federal revenues and help cover the cost of necessary policy initiatives."

Many senior-level and highly influential Congressmen are among this group of mostly Democratic co-sponsors, such as Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means; George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor; and John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the Committee of the Judiciary.

In all, the 50 co-sponsors represent Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

The bill seeks to create a new legal framework in the U.S. that would “permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S.” while also mandating “significant consumer protections, including safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identify theft,” states the news release.

To read the full news release, which includes a full list of co-sponsors, please click here. And remember, if you live in the U.S., and your representative isn’t on this list, then it’s time to send a letter or make a call! As affiliates, our numbers are great enough to influence this decision-making process. We don’t have to just be observers, we can help overturn the UIGEA if we take some initiative and reach out to the politicians who represent us.


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