Tentative Date for Frank’s New Bill
April 9, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – Several news sources are reporting that the latest version of Barney Frank’s efforts to introduce legislation that will regulate Internet gambling (and hopefully overturn the UIGEA in the process) will be ushered into the U.S. Congress shortly after Easter.
April 20 is a date that has been reported, but that date has not been confirmed. Frank has only stated that he plans to introduce the new legislation after the Easter recess, and "definitely in April".
As reported by Poker News Daily, the new legislation from the Massachusetts Democrat will be a stand-alone bill, and not a rider to other legislation, as some have anticipated. The bill is designed to create a “complete licensing and regulatory framework for the internet gambling industry,” and Frank reportedly wants the bill itself to generate publicity for the cause via “hearings, discussions, and votes.” (This is likely a direct rejoinder to the fact that the UIGEA was passed as a last-minute rider to a homeland security bill, without any time allowed for discussion or independent voting.)
As Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank has a considerable amount of power in the U.S. Congress, and so his desire to focus attention on the issue will likely see fruition.
“Frank has long been a proponent of internet gambling on Capitol Hill,” writes Dan Cypra for Poker News Daily, providing the rundown on events leading to this point. “He was the author of HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, which was introduced in April of 2007, but was not acted upon and now must be reintroduced for consideration. The bill attracted 48 co-sponsors. Last September, the House Financial Services Committee approved HR 6870 by a 30-19 vote, the second version of the Payments System Protection Act, which would have clarified what was legal and illegal under the UIGEA. However, the collapse of the global economy occurred shortly thereafter and the bill was placed on the backburner.”