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LA Times: US Online Gambling Policy "Not Working"

August 17, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – As Barney Frank’s pro-online gambling regulatory bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, or H.R. 2267, moves its way through the U.S. Congress, more and more major voices in the U.S. media are coming out in support of the legislation.

Most recently, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial in support of Frank’s bill that also criticized the United States’ current online gambling laws — in the form of the UIGEA, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 — saying that the law “just isn’t working”.

“Rather than pretending that Americans aren’t gambling online, Frank’s bill would bring more protection to players and minors in states that are ready to stop the charade of prohibition,” the editorial states.

“As professional poker player Annie Duke told Frank’s committee last month, the 2006 law ‘does not keep a single child off an Internet gaming site, nor does it provide any protections for problem gamblers or mechanisms to prevent fraud and abuse; it only regulates the banks, not those who operate the games,’” the piece goes on.

After some explanation of what the current laws are and how they’re enforced — familiar topics for those in the iGaming game — the editorial goes on to make its closing statement:

“By licensing operators in the U.S., Frank’s proposal would make it easier for financial companies to block transactions with unlicensed gambling sites. The measure also would let states and Indian reservations continue to prohibit their residents from gambling online, although the likely result is that those residents would merely be barred from gambling at regulated sites. That’s already the policy in the U.S., and it’s just not working.”