Posts Tagged ‘HR 2267’

March 17, 2011

Campbell Introduces ‘New’ Federal iGambling Bill

HR2267 text repurposed as #campbellbill

The House Committee on Financial Services released an official statement this evening which announced the awaited introduction of a new federal internet gambling bill by Rep. John Campbell (R-CA).  The new <shall-we-say> #campbellbill is, at the moment, identical to the last amended HR2267, whose most recent version can be found-> here.

From the press release:

WASHINGTON – The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act was introduced in the House today by Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) with Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) as a leading sponsor. Congressmen Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Peter King (R-NY) are also leading co-sponsors.   The bill is identical to H.R. 2267 that was passed out of the House Financial Services Committee on July 28, 2010 with bi-partisan support.  The bill would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses authorizing them to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the United States. The legislation comes in response to the enactment of Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which restricted the use of the payments system for Americans who gamble online.

As a recap, HR2267 passed through the Financial Service Committee last July.  It never took further steps in Congress last year, despite a significant sweat.  Harry Reid floated a draft of an internet gambling bill in December, known lovingly as #reidbill in Twitter, which also never made further official progress on Capitol Hill.  HR2267 contained no mention of the now dreaded “blackout” period that was the most infamous part of the #reidbill draft.

You can read the full statement by PPA, giving Campbell/Frank a virtual pat on the back-> here.

Posted by at 7:41 pm

December 2, 2010

Reid Circulates Casino-Approved Poker-Only Draft to Repeal UIGEA

Reid, backed by casino companies that “were among the Democrat’s biggest donors during his fierce re-election fight”, is currently passing a draft-version of his own brand new internet gambling bill around Capitol Hill this week.

The Wall Street Journal published an article today that is must-read for anyone who has been following the (wait-wait-and-wait) saga of legalizing online poker; check it out here -> WSJ.com|Reid Backs Legalizing Web Poker.

Key components of the draft-version of the Reid internet gambling bill:

1. Overturn UIGEA.

2. Provide legislation for poker-only.

3. Limit legal internet gaming to “allow only existing casinos, horse tracks and slot-machine makers to operate online poker websites for the first two years after the bill passes.”  It’s unclear what they are proposing to do with Full Tilt, Poker Stars, Ultimate Bet and the like “rogue” offshore sites during the time-out.

4. Outsource oversight of internet gambling to the *state* government.

5. Earmark revenue on wager to both state and federal governments.

The Vegas B&Ms had this to say on their confidence that new “one-size-please-all” Reid bill might navigate it’s way through the 111th Congress before the end of the lame duck session:

“Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Resorts International, a large Las Vegas-based casino company, said he hoped such a bill had a possibility of rushing through in the next few weeks. ‘A lot of things happen in this kind of time frame,’ he said.”

@ppapoker tweeted the link to the article at about 8p EST/5p Vegas tonight.

Posted by at 8:58 pm

December 1, 2010

Senate GOP Vows Halt to All Lame Duck Action

UIGEA proponent Jon Kyl co-authors pledge

This morning, Harry Reid received a letter in which the Senate Republicans have pledged to halt all action on lame duck legislative items until a deal is reached on tax cuts.  In this Nov 29 letter to Reid, signed by all 42 GOP Senators, Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) penned the following:

“… we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke closure on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers. With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”

Jon Kyl has been an important anti-gambling figure in the poker-politico scene, maintaining his objections to internet gambling since his election to Senate in 1994. He was a key figure in the passage of UIGEA, and stands strong against the act’s repeal.  Notably, “angry about the Treasury’s role in delaying the enforcement of the UIGEA”, Kyl blocked US Treasury officials from taking office this past February.  He is also a key supporters of the controversial internet domain blacklist bill – the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).  Perhaps the Homeland Security knew that all such lame duck actions would be stalled by the GOP when they preemptively seized 82 “illegal” domains last week under the moniker: Operation Our Sites II.

A video of Reid’s reaction to the Kyl/McDonnell filibuster was published on the SenateDemocrats YouTube channel today.

According to an article on the filibuster published in The Hill, “McConnell and other congressional leaders met with President Obama at the White House Tuesday to try to reach a deal on the tax cuts.” In Reid’s video, he states that Kyl has been chosen by the Republican party to represent them in these negotitations.  Reid has selected Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to represent the Dems.

A number of measures, in addition to COICA and the completely dead HR 2267, that have been hoping for motion during the last session of the 111th Congress, are the DREAM Act (immigration reform bill), extensions on the nation’s unemployment benefits, a repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”, and the long-stalled nuclear arms START treaty.

Everyone can rest safely on one account: @SenatorReid tweeted today that the bipartisan food safety bill made it in just under the wire.

Posted by at 3:44 pm

November 30, 2010

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Danish Delays, Kentucky Legal Derby, Cypriot Missiles, Excapsa Escapes & Congressional Guessing Games

I’m attending the Legal Marketing Association’s Toronto conference tomorrow today, so my updates to Dan “Slave-Driver” Michalski had to be in a day early. Also, I’ve picked up a bit of flack for making my updates too US-centric – I’ll try to keep a steadier eye on certain international developments, starting today yesterday. That said, here are some thoughts on the five most compelling stories in gaming in the past week from around the world:

  1. Denmark Online Gaming Delays – Denmark had intended to open up its online interactive gaming market by January of next year. However, there has been a complaint about tax rates and a blackout period before the European Commission. The Danish government and the EC are addressing the review and the complaint, but inter-governmental wrangling takes time, especially in Europe. Look for market liberalization to be delayed until Summer 2011.[EGR Magazine]
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  3. Kentucky v 141 Internet Domain Names – This is a fascinating and timely case that keeps getting more so. Latest development: A hearing has been scheduled for December 6th (this will be pushed back to the 13th) in front of Judge Thomas Wingate, who is the original judge that first dealt with this matter back in the Fall of 2008. The hearing is supposed to address the identification of the owners of the 141 Internet domain names that were part of Kentucky’s original suit. Kentucky has proposed that the domain names be split up into groups and that the initial group to be considered by the court comprise the following 5 names: www.playersonly.com, www.sportsbook.com, www.sportsinteraction.com, www.mysportsbook.com, and www.linesmaker.com. The proposed case management order (to be discussed at the hearing) grants 30 days to anyone purporting to be an owner of these sites to file a motion to intervene and prove their ownership of the site(s). iMEGA plans to make a motion to intervene on behalf of these sites, which does not sit well with the Commonwealth; Kentucky has consistently objected to iMEGA and the IGC being granted standing in the proceeding.

    The Commonwealth may lose here – the Supreme Court of Kentucky seemed to like the idea of associational standing but said that the associations did not yet demonstrate that they had standing. The associations can be expected to do what they have to to show this. If iMEGA loses out in December, look for more appeals and legal wrangling. This case has certainly been a boon to the Kentucky bar – it seems that just about every lawyer in the state has had a piece of this lawsuit. [Poker News Daily]

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  5. Cyprus Attempting to Ban (Most) Internet Gaming – Cyprus has drafted a bill proposing a ban on all forms of Internet gambling except sports wagering. This has gone to the European Commission for review. Cyprus argues that the ban on roulette, other table games, slot machines, and poker is in the public interest. Cyprus hopes that the Santa Casa ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2009 in favour of Portugal will work in its favour in this draft. The bill also provides for the creation of a Gaming Board regulating Cypriot online gambling (sports betting only), issuing of licences, and a ban on cash bets and the exclusive use of credit cards and e-wallets to make transactions easier to monitor and tax. [Gambling City]
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  7. Excapsa & the Cereus Network Settlement – In a shareholder communication by Excapsa Software’s liquidator, Excapsa and the Cereus Network appear to have settled their dispute over promissory notes and fraud claims on the network. In return for full and final settlement, it looks like Blanca Games (UB’s operator) will acquire Excapsa’s interest in the outstanding debt for US$2M and a percentage of proceeds if the business is sold by Blanca on or before March 31, 2013. Excapsa will get the remaining interest in the old gaming software (the Towkiro Group – UB’s old owners – had retained a residual interest to use the software for internal purposes). [WSBG Accountants, Montreal]
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  9. What Congress Shall Wil Probably Will May Do in the US – This is the favoured party game of everyone in the Internet poker industry right now. Few know for certain what will happen, but here’s what I think is becoming reasonably clear: a) the Frank & McDermott bills are probably dead; b) if anything passes during the lame-duck session, it will likely be a Reid bill and will probably be attached to ‘must-pass’ financial legislation; and, c) poker is the only thing that will get through this year. My best information is still that it’s more likely than not that a measure won’t pass, but I have been hearing more and more gossip rumblings suggesting that prospects are perhaps better than I have expected. The next week or two could change things and make passage of an interactive poker measure the odds-on favourite. Stay tuned. [Motley Fool]

    Also …
    interesting conference on US i-gaming to take place in Washington D.C. on December 10th. This is a should-attend if you are in D.C. at the time:

    http://www.spectrumgaming.com/conferences/


Attorney Stuart Hoegner regularly follows international gaming law so his lazy hard-working, brilliant editor doesn’t have to; you can follow him @GamingCounsel on Twitter.

Posted by at 2:51 pm

November 13, 2010

Words With Poker Tweeps

Three-tabling Negreanu, KevMath, SpartanFox

@Kevmath laid down the gauntlet on Twitter this evening on the ever-popular “Words With Friends” app. Soon @RealKidPoker and @Mark_Gahagan were in on the action, offering up their WWF user names publicly on twitfeed. Now I’m three-tabling them all headups.

Negreanu just countered back after I triple-word scored on “SIZED”. Seems he’s playing from his new iPad from NAPT at the Bike.

@RealKidPoker: “34,575 end lvl 4. Nice little comeback reminiscent of my start in EPT Vienna. A bit tired, and playing words with friends to pass time.”

Gahagan may have just pulled ahead with his 57-pointer “VIEW” off my “QUIDS”, but I’m not drawing dead yet. As for Kevmath, I’m on the warpath after he used a questionable “ER” to position off a triple word score.

If HR2267 had already passed, I’d be looking to lay some cash on this tonight.

Posted by at 8:30 pm

November 1, 2010

Political Update from the Heartland

Raymer on Poker-Only, Indian Reservations, and Stars in Washington

This Thursday, I will be making my way to Tama, Iowa to meet up with the Heartland Poker Tour crew once again, this time at their event @ Meskwaki Bingo Casino (Oct 31-Nov 7.)   In preparation for my trip, I’ve been organizing the videos and pics I shot a couple weeks back while covering the HPT Fifth Anniversary Bash in Minnesota.

I found some footage y’all might be interested on this election-day-eve as I posed to a couple burning poli-poker questions to the pstars-patched host, Greg Raymer, asking:

Question 1: What does the PPA front man think of his sponsor blocking players in Washington State?

Question 2: Does libertarian @FossilMan think that internet gambling be allowed for poker-only, or does he feel that all games should be permitted in HR 2267?

Question 3: In Raymer’s opinion, should Indian Reservation casinos, such as the Shooting Star, feel threatened by legalized internet gambling?

Check it out.

Posted by at 1:59 pm

October 29, 2010

Zynga Tries to Patent Virtual Casino Currency

An attempt to *own* social media gambling transactions?

In last Friday’s twitfeed, my favorite tech-biz site Tech Crunch tweeted about their post  “Is Zynga Trying To Patent Virtual Currency?” Apparently, the leviathan of multiplayer gaming networks — and big wildcard in the future of real-money online poker — filed a US Patent Application in March of this year in an effort to corner the virtual currency market.

At least that’s my take. After reading the actual legal document, “Virtual Playing Chips in a Multiuser Online Game Network”, I gather what they are really trying to do is define and patent the purchase and flow of “Non-Redeemable Virtual Currency” as it pertains *specifically* to gambling on social networks.

ZyngaPokerChips 

click to enlarge

More…

Posted by at 10:00 am

October 9, 2010

Washington Pullout, Lame-duck 2267, Stars Int’l Licensing, Betfair IPO, Penn National Vegas

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Hello good people of Pokerati. Here’s what I hope to make a weekly digest of what I think are the most interesting and/or relevant stories (not necessarily the same thing) happening online and around the world:

  1. PokerStars turns off Washington players - This is the first US state to be turned off by PokerStars. Major Stars competitors have not responded in-kind. This was not prompted by any change in state law in Washington (the ostensible reason was the result in the Rousso v. Washington judgment handed down on September 23rd). This may signal that Stars is not going to be as aggressive as others in maintaining a presence in all jurisdictions in the US. [Casino City Times]
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  3. HR 2267 - People continue to try to read the tea leaves to determine what’s going to happen with the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. Every utterance from Reps. Frank or McDermott or from Senator Reid sends the online forums and poker press into overdrive. The House is now adjourned until after the November elections. If HR 2267 is to pass, it must be done during the lame-duck session starting after the mid-terms and ending before the start of the 112th Congress in early January. I continue to believe that it’s more likely than not that the current version (as amended) will not pass before the start of the next session, but remember that a lot can happen in a few days. [GovTrack.us]
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  5. Betfair IPO - This is one of the biggest public offerings in gaming in some time, so it’s no surprise that it’s getting quite a lot of attention. Betfair is apparently not raising new money on the float; shareholders are selling off approximately 10% of their holdings before over-allotment. Initial media reports had suggested a valuation of as high as £1.5B, but this appears to have been discounted. [Wall Street Journal]
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  7. Penn National coming to Vegas - Penn National Gaming purchased the outstanding debt of the M Resort in Las Vegas for $230.5M. This is seen as Penn’s way of eventually owning the asset, giving it its first Las Vegas property. The M was built at a cost of $1B, so most appear to be congratulating Penn for effectively purchasing a nice asset at a fraction of cost. [LVRJ]
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  9. PokerStars Licensure - Stars continues to build up gaming licences in various jurisdictions; it now has operating licences in France, Italy, and Estonia, as well as its ‘main’ international licence from the Isle of Man. This may be a sign of the kind of regulatory fragmentation that owners will face in future (especially in Europe) as different countries open up their markets to licensure and operations. [Gaming Zion]

Gaming attorney and expert Stu Hoegner follows the poker and casino industries from a tax- and law-minded perspective @GamingCounsel.

Posted by at 5:47 pm

September 24, 2010

Online Poker Electioneering Underway

US rep, Dina Titus (D-NV), is sending out mailers to her Vegas constituency in hopes they’ll send her back to Washington DC for a sophomore term. Her campaign material today shows she is indeed willing to make online gambling a key issue — at least amongst voters in her database tagged with “online gambling” as a key issue.

Titus is, of course, a co-sponsor of HR 2267, as is my rep, Shelley Berkley. With absentee props to the Poker Shrink, who is still registered in Titus’ district, here’s a glimpse at how pro-online-poker Vegas pols are speaking about internet gambling as a whole, leading up to the November Election:

(Remember, you can see where your rep stands on “our issue” here.)

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Representative Dina Titus
To: Poker Shrink
Sent: Fri, September 24, 2010 8:30:09 AM
Subject: Online Gaming Update from Congresswoman Dina Titus

More…

Posted by at 4:01 pm

September 17, 2010

California Intrastate Online Gambling Senator Indicted

8 felony counts, including voter fraud, perjury

Sen. Rod Wright: Give me PartyPoker.cali or give me death!

California state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) — the legislator behind California’s aggressive efforts for intrastate online gambling and opponent to Barney Frank’s federal online gambling bills — is in some hot water. I couldn’t tell on quickest glance if he’s being hassled over some jurisdictional technicalities or if its indicative of some major shenanigans involving one of the biggest proponents for California’s French-like vision for online poker. But either way, somebody seems pretty pissed off at Wright, as a Los Angeles County grand Jury unsealed an 8-count felony indictment against him yesterday.

Wright is the sponsor of California’s SB 1485, a bill that would immediately kick off licensed and regulated online gambling for Californians in California. The bill has seemed on its last legs since this summer, but just won’t die as California desperately digs into its couch cushions looking for any way possible to to make up for extreme budget deficits supposedly driving the state toward insta-bankruptcy.

More…

Posted by at 6:46 pm

September 14, 2010

Congress Back in Sesh

HR 2267 in gear but waiting for 2268, election and lame ducks

(WASHINGTON DC) Both the House and Senate reconvened yesterday on a crisp bright fallish day in the Beltway.  After a summertime recess spent allowing members to return to their home districts, it’s time for Reps and Senators to get back to doing all the things they do in the *public eye* — and that doesn’t mean just appearing on Jay Leno.  

This will be the first opportunity for HR 2267 to take those *many* next steps on the legislative grind  to Obama’s ”final table” since it passed through House Financial Services committee over six (!) weeks ago. It is also the last window for anything to happen before the November election; however, this window will close on October 8. That’s about 20 days from now, folks.

So what’s going to be happening, if anything?

More…

Posted by at 7:00 am

September 1, 2010

RE: The PPA vs. California Casinos

While the PPA’s petition has already received more than 7000 signatures, including most of poker’s top professionals, the PPA is not letting up on the Commerce Casino for its vocal opposition to HR 2267. Responding to the Commerce’s response (to a response to a response?), the PPA points to the law as written and shows how most of the Commerce’s supposed concerns were addressed in amendments. The PPA wants players to see how California casinos are really making a protectionist money grab but trying to disguise it as a bold stand to protect poker players worldwide.

PPA Excutive Director John Pappas told PokerNews’ Matthew Kredell he will stop supporting Commerce events, but stopped short of calling for an all-out boycott:

“We didn’t think that was appropriate. Players will make that decision on their own. But you see the number of professional players who signed the letter. I know Commerce will be holding a lot of high-profile events in the future. Some pros might question whether to attend.”

Follow coverage of the PPA’s crusade to get Commerce officials to change their minds here. Meanwhile, the Commerce Hold’em Series gets underway today,

Posted by at 8:45 am

August 29, 2010

The PPA vs. California Card Rooms

Fires flare over Commerce opposition to online gambling bill

Drama was out in full force this past week, with allegations of hypocrisy, cheating, and extortion exploding through the poker world, which was still feeling aftershocks from an Annie Duke/Daniel Negreanu feud that had reached new levels of nastiness after Negreanu’s aggressive C-bet. But the poker fight that really blew up late last week was between the Commerce Casino and PPA, and shows how heated political matters can get in a very short period of time.

Open letter from pros, PPA website target Commerce
Though Barney Frank’s online gambling bill made it out of committee last month relatively unscathed, one troublesome opponent came from the Commerce Casino in California. In an effort to squelch the impact of their dissent, the PPA sends its million-plus members word of an open letter to the Commerce (signed by a few dozen top-level pros) and launches PlayersBeforeProfits.com, making it easy for poker players to bombard the Commerce with tweets, emails, and phone calls voicing displeasure.

Commerce says PPA misguided, Frank bill will cost jobs and hurt poker
Commerce board member Tom Malkasian, who testified against HR 2267 last month, turned up his rhetoric against the PPA, saying they are ignoring key issues. The Commerce has a right to fight against unfair competition from offshore operations, he tells PokerNewsDaily, and its something they must do to protect California revenue, American jobs, and poker player interests, he says. At least Duke and Negreanu seem back on the same team, having both signed the initial letter and both tweeting to help get thousands of signatures for the PPA in just a couple days. Duke hints at plans for a boycott.

Bike, other California casinos lock step with Commerce
In what’s becoming an increasingly hostile back and forth, the PPA appears to be winning the PR battle, now with more than 6,000 signatures and countless tweets to Congress. The Commerce counters with even bigger numbers and a sign their side is growing, too. They mass-email a press release late Friday, announcing a unified front with other major California card rooms, including the Bicycle, Hawaiian Gardens, and Hollywood Park. These card rooms claim they collectively represent more than 20,000 California employees and handle $13.4 billion in wagers, all of which would be severely threatened by the Frank bill.

Industry Leaders Join Together with Commerce Casino in Opposing Frank Bill; “California Will Lose If Frank Bill Is Passed”

The letter suggests HR 2267 is too broad, and would be more acceptable if it tried to legalize poker-only, not all online gambling. It also says the Commerce welcomes the emails, but asks concerned players to use their new email address supportonlinepoker@commercecasino.net.

Boycott Commerce?
Twitter suggested lots of support for the idea, but few if any have thus far declared intent to cancel plans or skip the upcoming Commerce Hold’em Series, which kicks off Wednesday with a $500k Guarantee.

Posted by at 9:48 am

August 26, 2010

Harry Reid Voices Support for Online Poker-Only Legalization

Yeah for poker! But kick in nards for Big Casinos?

We’ve been saying for awhile how critical Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is for any regulated online gambling legislation to stand a chance at making its way into law. And despite non-denial denials from his office regarding plans for a forthcoming poker-only Senate bill, the Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting that Reid is now saying something more directly suggestive of his online poker intentions:

[Gaming] executives said Reid, D-Nev., told them he would support the legalization of online poker in the United States but drew the line there — he would not support any other form of online gaming — during an Aug. 16 meeting at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa [in Reno].

This falls in line with what Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) told the same paper earlier this month — that Reid’s position against online gambling had “softened dramatically” — after she and Nevada’s two other representatives made a serious push on Reid to support Barney Frank’s HR 2267. Berkley and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) are Frank bill co-sponsors, and Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) “cautiously supports” it.

The problem Reid’s supposedly running into now are non-Harrah’s B/M casinos in northern Nevada asserting online gambling is a threat to business and Nevada tourism … thereby costing the state jobs. And as outdated and arguably inaccurate as that argument is — we’ve heard it before, from the same Vegas ops and Indian tribes that now support online gambling — anything that opponents can spin against Reid as anti-jobs probably isn’t something the senator would want to risk heading into November, as he faces a statewide election in the state with the highest unemployment in the nation. At a minimum, wading into such waters would require a lot more money for internet ads to smear Sharron Angle out of contention.

More…

Posted by at 2:02 am

August 12, 2010

Hedging Bets on Capitol Hill

How we got rid of the NFL

We just learned the NFL is backing off its long-held opposition to online gambling — removing a major obstacle from HR 2267′s path to becoming law.

It was the King-Meeks amendment that assured the league the bill would exclude sports betting. One key supporters of this measure was John Campbell, a decidedly right-wing Republican from California who, incidentally, wrote the amendment that calls for a “blacklist” of “unlawful internet gambling enterprises”.

Photo special for Pokerati © James Berglie / BePhotography
Rep. John Campbell supports the rights of Americans to gamble online, so long as they can’t bet on football.

The effort to remove sports betting gives insight into the process of converting undecideds into supporters, as seen in the video below. Just a week earlier, Campbell had told the House Financial Services Committee, “You know I don’t gamble, and I don’t particularly like it; but freedom is not about legislating what I like to do and making illegal what I don’t.”

But as it became clear during markup that the NFL would be getting what they wanted and sports bettors would not, Barney Frank, who believes all forms of online gambling deserve the consumer protections HR 2267 advocates, couldn’t resist posing a somewhat humorous, if not uncomfortable question to his colleague from across the aisle:

With both the Campbell and King-Meeks amendments passing by voice vote, later that day Campbell signed on as the 70th cosponsor (and fourth Republican) willing to align themselves with online gambling.

Posted by at 8:00 am