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Letter From the Professor - July 2, 2008
Barney Frank’s Anti UIGEA Bill defeated in tie vote. What’s next?
As most of you know by now Massachusetts House Representative Barney Frank's attempt to halt the implementation of the UIGEA regulations ended in a tied vote and, consequently, was “defeated” under committee rules last Thursday.
The bill would have prohibited the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve from proposing and implementing much criticized regulations to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Senator Alfonse D'Amato, a supporter of H.R. 5767, said it was disappointing to realize that opponents of the bill had not truly understood its intent: "It was clear today that those who oppose this bill chose to focus on emotional and non-germane issues, such as the harmful impact of gambling on children, instead of on the merits of the bill itself," he said, commenting that as it presently stands the UIGEA is "a completely unworkable and unenforceable bill that would do little to address the main concerns of its sponsors – namely, protecting underage and compulsive gamblers as well as cracking down on money laundering."
Most vociferous in opposition was our old nemesis Republican Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama, a longtime opponent of Internet gambling who characterized the pastime as "the fastest growing addiction, more so than drugs" and went on to explain that "problem gambling doubles within 10 miles of a gambling facility. The closer you get to a casino, the more problem gamblers you have. Well, the Internet puts the casino right in the home."
He also invoked the rather weary slogan: "You just click your mouse and you lose your house."
Jeffrey Sandman, a spokesman for the Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI) which yesterday took Representative Bachus to task for statements it described and detailed as "misinformation," said that it was disappointing that Republican politicians would turn their backs on the credit unions and banks at a time when the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve admit the proposed rules to enforce UIGEA are unworkable.
He added: "Given the freedom of the Internet, it is foolhardy to impose the current regulations and force U.S. financial service companies to police for illegal activity. Rather than prohibit an activity millions of Americans enjoy to do in their homes, just as they can do in a casino, Congress should create a regulatory framework for Internet gambling as a way to protect consumers and collect billions in much-needed federal revenue that is currently lost in an underground, uncontrolled marketplace."
The Americans for Tax Reform (ATF) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also opposed the implementation of the UIGEA in its submission to the Committee, saying that if the UIGEA was implemented as proposed in current regulations, it would have "a number of serious, negative consequences for the nation's economy."
Congressman Ron Paul, who co-sponsored HR5767 with Rep. Frank, said that he believed individuals have the right to spend their money the way they want. "If you can regulate the way people spend money on the Internet, you open up a whole new can of worms. Also there are special interests involved," he commented.
"The real issue is what the role of government should be. When it comes to economic and moral behavior, this becomes a problem. Why can't individuals make up their own minds? If it involves kids, the responsibility is with the parents. There are many more dangers out there than with gambling."
What do YOU think is the next move in this political chess game? Join us here to discuss
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CAP Press Release
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In The News
Don’t forget the hottest industry news daily at CAP in our newsroom Click here and bookmark that page.
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ANTI-UIGEA REGULATIONS BILL DEFEATED
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This Weeks Polls
This new poll posted by Dominique is always a hot topic each month. It’s subject: June - How did you do? I think you will find it interesting to vote in and follow. Join in and cast your votes now.