The April 9th edition of The Poker Beat included a discussion about the possibility of poker legislation that would repeal the UIGEA, allowing companies like PartyPoker back into the U.S. Dan (the Wolfman?) made some solid arguments, but when he mentioned that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has the know-how to slyly attach pro-gaming legislation to another sure-thing bill to get it passed, he may not have been aware that Frank has declared his intent to complete the mission of repealing the UIGEA not with political trickery but rather a stand-alone bill.
In a conversation with The Hill, Frank said that attaching his bill to other legislation — as was done with the UIGEA — would be “inappropriate.”
“I want to do this with hearings, discussions, and votes,” he said.
While Frank’s desire to handle it on the House floor as opposed to in the back hallways is being praised by some, others see it as dangerous to the bill, as an intense focus/debate on it could make it more difficult to pass.
Let’s think about this for a moment. Frank has been on UIGEA-tilt since 2006, as was evident by his introduction of H.R. 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA), in April of 2007. He has likely been calculating the best way to repeal the UIGEA after fighting against it since its passage, and his decision to reintroduce H.R. 2046 as a standalone was not made lightly. Could he have some Republican aces up his sleeve? Does the recently-quiet PPA have a master plan to garner support for the bill? All of this remains to be seen, but methinks Frank would not have been so vocal – to mainstream media nonetheless – since January of his intention to repeal the UIGEA if he did not have a solid plan with which to proceed … which at this point, he is saying begins after Congress returns from their Easter break on April 20th.