Ready to Rumble? Frank to Introduce Bill Tomorrow

by , May 5, 2009 | 12:18 pm

Rep. Barney Frank is set to introduce his pro-online gaming legislation tomorrow, complete with 10am ET press conference. With any luck, this will get some mainstream news coverage, but we can be assured of at least some C-SPAN live feed.

Someone at Bluff wrote a little ditty about it here, and the official press release from Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative below:

May 5, 2009

New Internet Gambling Legislation to Be Introduced by Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank

Updated analysis estimates regulation will generate up to $63 billion in new government revenue over ten years

Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, today announced plans to introduce legislation tomorrow to establish an enforcement framework for licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. The legislation is expected to include a number of significant consumer protections, including safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identity theft. Millions of Americans are wagering more than $100 billion annually with offshore Internet gambling operators despite the current prohibition imposed under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).

“We applaud Chairman Frank’s strong leadership to advance a common sense approach to regulate Internet gambling and reverse the intrusive, ineffective and burdensome prohibition,” said Jeffrey Sandman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “Despite the current prohibition, millions of Americans wager more than $100 billion annually with offshore Internet gambling operators. Rather than tell Americans what they can and cannot do online in the privacy of their homes, Chairman Frank’s approach to regulate Internet gambling would protect consumers and allow the U.S. to generate billions in new revenue to fund critical government programs.”

During the 110th Congress, Chairman Frank introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007. A companion piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2008, would help capture revenues that are currently lost to offshore gambling operators. According to a recent analysis, collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would allow the U.S. to capture from $48.6 billion to $62.7 billion in new revenue over the next decade, a 21 percent increase from previous estimates. Without this legislation, this revenue will remain uncollected.

Representatives of the financial services industry, including the Chamber of Commerce and Financial Services Roundtable, have expressed concerns about the burden and ambiguity in the rules to implement UIGEA which require the financial services sector to identify and block unlawful Internet gambling transactions.

“We hope all interested parties will unite to support Congressman Frank to help advance this important legislation,” Sandman said. “Americans continue to gamble online. It is time for Congress to regulate and tax Internet gambling.”


  • http://pokershrink.blogspot.com Poker Shrink

    Prediction: The bill goes nowhere, gets no traction and eventually just goes away. Then we get another bill that just kills the UIGEA and next year they introduce several bills, the weakest of which passes.

  • Kevin Mathers

    FWIW, it’s got the support and lobbying of Harrah’s and Youbet.com

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    Shrink, I hate to see you dismiss this before it even gets introduced. There might be more support behind this thing than we know. (See Kevin’s comment above.)

    I’m going to make the exact opposite prediction: The bill has a real chance of getting passed in 2009.

  • Card Chucker

    Thank god. I have been wondering what/how/if I’m suppose to claim my withdraw checks from the 3rd party companies. I don’t mind getting taxed on online winnings if it allows me to speed up the transaction process. Let’s hope that we win this one and then the Texas bill. I am still trying to grasp the idealism that poker is more of a gamble game than the lottery…I think online roulette is as skillfully probable as scratch offs or lotto balls.

  • http://pokerati.com/about-us/#danm DanM

    I’m going to wait until I see the bill and any media strategy behind it before making a call. At best a coinflip pre-flop … possibly dominated.

    We’ll have to see how it’s being pushed to the non-poker masses. Because it’s one thing to get the likes of us and CardPlayer pushing following its progress, but it’s something altogether different (and necessary) getting the non-poker press to make it an issue. And having our own people write op-eds for these publications, albeit important, doesn’t really count.

  • Losty

    Interesting that this gets done right when Clonie’s lawsuit against FTP et al Gets dismissed with prejudice against most defendants. (Apparantly she can refile against Howard, Tiltware LLC and Mr. Bitar)

    Wonder how the FTP California suit will be played out in this.

    This could be air, or BIG..

  • http://pokerati.com/about-us/#danm DanM

    Don’t forget Howard was just in DC less than a couple weeks ago:

    http://pokerati.com/2009/05/01/dc-charity-poker/

    I’m sure he had at least a meeting or two related to this bill. But considering that FTP is still literally raking it in … they certainly see this as a long term game … and in the long run are not going to support anything that may fuel a whole new poker boom if it were to knock Full Tilt out of the industry in the process.

  • Card Chucker

    Does anyone know if the conference is suppose to be on CSPAN, CSPAN2 or CSPAN3?

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    The best I can tell from the C-Span website is that C-Span2 covers the Senate, but I think it’s going to take some flipping channels to find out for sure.

  • Card Chucker

    I got my clicker and DVR ready to go. I even skipped my daily morning tourney to focus my attention on this (also to focus on a chirizo breakfast).

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    It looks like it’s not going to be covered anywhere on TV. :(

  • Card Chucker

    Maybe if C-SPAN 2 turned down the classical music we’d be able to hear what is going on. After flipping through the channels (and continuing to do so for another hour) the commentators for C-SPAN make CNN commentators sound like WWF announcers.

  • Kevin Mathers

    I’m sure it’ll be available online shortly, C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 will always cover the House and Senate over any press conference, although I’m sure they’re recording for later airing.

  • Card Chucker

    Perhaps it will be after the quorum call.

  • Card Chucker
  • Card Chucker

    Not sure how liable this source is…but http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2009/May/06/Frank-to-unveil-Internet-gambling-bill-today.aspx says the press conference is a 4PM ET today.

  • Kevin Mathers