Posts Tagged ‘Barney Frank’

Tea Party Conservatives Support Efforts to Quash UIGEA

RE: Markup of HR 2267 Tuesday

by , Jul 26, 2010 | 11:24 am

The battle over Barney Frank’s HR 2267 is heating up, and he seems to have found allies in sensible albeit unusual places. Specifically, supporting efforts to dismantle – or at least rebuke and revise – the UIGEA are the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks.

A letter they all sent to Congressional members yesterday:


HR 2267 Hearing Recap

Congress Considers Poker Position in Online Gambling Regs

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 4:26 pm

Watch the archived hearing here

Wednesday’s hearing on HR 2267, which would regulate and license Internet gambling, brought out strong opinions from both sides in over two hours of testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee. The next step in the legislative process is a mark-up of the bill, tentatively planned for next week where members of the Committee can add amendments to the legislation, with a vote to move the bill out of Committee and have the full House of Representatives vote on the legislation later this year. A couple of items from the hearing:

Bachus v Duke on Ultimate Bet scandal

One of the more contentious moments of the hearing was when Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL) entered into evidence a two-year old article from discussing the Ultimate Bet superuser scandal. That article stated that over $75 million had been stolen from its players. Duke corrected Bachus, stating that the figure was $22 million, and the entire amount was refunded to its players. Duke also stated that the scandal was a reason why regulation would be beneficial to those who play online poker so that justice could be served for the parties responsible for the scandal.

Disagreement among opponents

Another point brought up during the hearing was while anti-terrorism/money laundering consultant Michael K. Fagan, a former US attorney, was against all forms of Internet gambling. Meanwhile, California cardroom executive Tom Malkasian was also against the legislation, but he and his coalition of California cardrooms and Native American casinos have been pushing hard for intrastate gambling in California. Another Native American executive, The Honorable Lynn Malerba of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut was for the legislation, but the tribes had to be on a level playing field. Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), who is against the legislation, got into a war of words with Malerba, stating the legislation could threaten the sovereignty of Native American casinos.

You can watch the hearing at the link above, and read the press release from the PPA regarding the hearing:


House Financial Services Committee on HR 2267, 2pm Today

by , | 8:36 am

Watch the hearing at the House Financial Committee site

UPDATE: A series of roll call votes will delay the hearing until at least 2:15pm.

This afternoon, Barney Frank’s House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing scheduled for 2pm to discuss HR 2267, a bill to license and regulate online gambling.

Five witnesses are expected to testify at today’s hearing (with links to ther opening testimony):

Ed Williams – President/CEO of Discovery Federal Credit Union (on behalf of the Credit Union National Association)
Tom Malkasian – Vice Chairman and Director of Strategic Planning, Commerce Casino
The Honorable Lynn Malerba – Tribal Chairwoman, Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut
Michael K. Fagan – Law Enforcement/Anti-Terrorism Consultant
Annie Duke – Testifying on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance

Annie Duke to Testify Before Congressional Committee

by , Jul 20, 2010 | 3:47 am

That’s the word Annie put out about 10:30 pm last night, via twitter:

AnnieDuke Heading to DC tomorrow. Testifying Wednesday at 2pm in front of Chairman Frank’s Committee on his new legislation to regulate online gaming.
about 4 hours ago via web

Apparently it’s the real deal taking shape in DC. Annie, of course, has been in this position before and delivered admirably … and that was before she had faced off several times in front of Donald Trump in the Apprentice board room.

Still unclear how far the current package of poker-related bills can go this year. (Frank Bill, McDermott Bill, and think one other in the Senate but have lost track.) Not to be a doubter nor pose as a political Joe Navarro, but it doesn’t look promising in what’s sure to be a contentious election season when the three most powerful Dems in America (Obama, Reid, Pelosi) are kinda speaking volumes with their silence on the awesomeness — nay, the righteousness — of internet gambling.

Maybe that’s what this week’s hearing is all about?

With Annie testifying in DC, her brother Howard Lederer stepping out in a new way, and their good friend Andy Bloch taking the lead for poker engaging a wider community concerned with internet freedoms as a whole, you can tell — or at least it seems — that poker political forces have shifted gears.

Full Tilt Gets Public about Politics

Lederer encourages players to “Stand up for Poker”

by , Jul 16, 2010 | 11:06 pm

Supposedly, Barney Frank’s HR 2267 — the Internet Gambling, Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act — has a hearing this upcoming Wednesday in Barney Frank’s House Financial Services Committee. What its about is hard to say — we know it’s not the all-important “mark-up”, but beyond that, little else … It’s been put on the schedule with little fanfare and no witness list (which is kinda abnormal, but not totally).

The bill itself seems like it might be struggling, as might have been suspected in a contentious election year. But poker opponents are rallying their troops, with Focus on the Family getting their members to voice their staunch opposition:

The bills represent the most aggressive expansion of gambling in American history.

The instant accessibility and anonymity of Internet gambling sites will only accelerate addiction and increase the negative social and fiscal costs imposed on U.S. citizens, families and nonprofits.

Research shows gambling is already the fastest growing addiction among the Millennial generation.

Congress voted four years ago to pass the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) to combat, not encourage, these costs.

What we know and can prove about groups like FOF — they lie.

You can see they’re even trying to encourage their usual Congressional supporters to not risk losing the all-important Tea-Party vote by claiming our argument about the money online gambling generates as their own, simply flipping things around to contend these bills — despite a recent study about the 10s of thousands of jobs and 10s of billions in tax revenue that licensed and regulated online gambling would create — will “cost” America money.


The PPA Wants (Needs?) Your Money

Poker politicos seeking buy-in to Washington DC Big Game

by , Jun 30, 2010 | 8:12 pm

A lot of different groups seem to have their fingers in the online gambling/poker pie these days. Kinda funny, because right now most Obama-admin efforts seem to be about stopping it, or at least making the process of winning a main event seat on PokerStars more difficult.

Yet at the same time, momentum in Congressional circles seems to be going the other way — with more money being spent on online gambling-related lobbying than ever before, and not coincidentally, a growing number of congressfolk suddenly on board with the cause.

But when it comes to hammering out a future for our specific special interest — licensed and regulated online poker — the Poker Players Alliance is hardly the only group claiming to speak on our behalf. The AGA, iMega, various Native American interests, the NTRA (horse racing) and the American Horse Council … they all want seats at the lawmaking table, too. However, the PPA is the only group specifically focussed on poker, that was built by poker players, and operates in Washington DC with poker community and industry interests foremost in mind.

Thus …

The PPA Poker Moneybomb

On July 1st, the PPA will be launching an unprecedented 1-day fundraising drive with the goal of raising $50,000 in support of our advocacy and grassroots efforts. We are asking all loyal poker supporters to make a donation to the PPA — even if it’s just $5 — on July 1st.

Love or hate Obama-driven reform, with health care out of the way, “financial overhaul” is next on the agenda. And the man spearheading this effort is poker’s ole friend Barney Frank, who has the ability and interest to make sure online gambling is — or is not — part of that political conversation.


Another UIGEA Arrest, This One on Barney Frank’s Home Turf

by , May 16, 2010 | 9:10 am

Sorry for missing this, but I guess I hit the Google snooze alarm. Ten days ago, federal authorities arrested Todd Lyons, 36, of Beverly, Massachusetts, for allegedly running an offshore sports betting operation called Sports Offshore. They pretty much threw the book at him, levying 36 criminal charges — fraud, money laundering, racketeering, tax crimes, you name it … and one of them for violating the UiGEA.

Nothing to do with poker specifically at first glance … but if you believe the Feds don’t operate in a vacuum, there seems to be a message here that might-should have a few Poker After Dark regulars shitting bricks taking note …

I learned about the arrest from J. Todd, whom I find myself paying closer attention to than before as the June 1 D-Day approaches. However, point of order, dude, I think you got it wrong saying Lyons was the first ever UIGEA arrest. I’m 99.99 percent sure he was the second. You gotta read your Pokerati, man, where you’ll see that the first was Daniel Tzvetkoff. It’s right there, charge #4, in the criminal complaint from the DOJ! Reason magazine saw the same thing, too.

With that out of the way (we understand typos here), let’s look a little closer at this case and how it may or may not be different from payment processor arrests related to online poker …

First off, this indictment does not come out of the Southern District of New York, which we know is where the biggest poker heat has been coming from. However, is it just a coincidence that the first UIGEA arrest happened in Las Vegas (capital of the poker world) and the second was in Massachusetts (home to the biggest Congressional opponent of the UIGEA). The message someone could read here is “Barney Frank can’t save you!”


John Stossel Takes Up Poker / Online Gambling Fight

Conservative media weighing our issues

by , | 4:02 am

I’ve been a fan of John Stossel, and his willingness to call bullshit on conventional wisdom, since the days I started noticing the difference between good journalism and bad. He has since moved from ABC News to Fox, where his libertarian shtick is a tea-party-friendly line of fiscal conservatism that challenges the moral contingent who want to impose on personal freedoms. Thus, the newest cause he’s taken up (at least for a week) is gambling … specifically online gambling.

Stossel outs himself as a recreational poker player in an episode of his namesake show on Fox Business that aired Thursday: Bans on Betting.

The show re-aired throughout the weekend, and will be on one more time tonight, Sunday, at 10 PM ET.

His efforts to bring the online gambling issue to the fore last week extended far beyond his own show. Here he is on The O’Reilly Factor:


Virginia Congressmen Implore House to Resist Repeal of UIGEA

Letter sent to Members to rally more UIGEA support

by , Apr 26, 2010 | 4:44 pm

The PPA isn’t giving up on moving Barney Frank and Jim Goodlatte’s online gambling bills through Congress before (or after) the June 1 UIGEA deadline. In response to their efforts — and perhaps testament to their progress — one of the original UIGEAers Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has joined forces with his colleague Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) in a letter encouraging all congresspeople to resist any sensible appeal to legalize internet gambling.

They seem to be playing fierce and maybe even a touch dirty. The bipartisan nature of the letter is sure to catch some undecided Congressional eyes — and in it they drop a story about a college student committing suicide after going uber-deep into online gambling debt.

Click here to read the letter circulating in Washington DC.

Online Poker Bills Pulled from Committee Schedule

by , Apr 12, 2010 | 3:05 pm

No one should get too excited about the supposed Full Committee Hearing for the Barney Frank (D-MA) bills … engines may be revving for HR 2266 + 2267, but these bills aren’t really “moving”. At best they are spinning their wheels and at worst they are flat-out stuck in political mud.

The PPA informs us that the hearing has been “postponed [until] later next week possibly”. Its being scheduled for a Friday shoulda been the first clue that the House Financial Services Committee wasn’t really serious about having a debate on these bills. At this point in an election season, the members often try to get out of Washington DC as early as possible on a Friday so they can return to their home districts.

The whole purpose of this not-so-scheduled hearing is not for debate and mark-up … but rather to appease a Spencer Bachus (R-AL) beef, who previously complained the last time they talked about these bills that Frank did not do his due diligence and invite the Deptartment of Justice and the Treasury (and maybe the Federal Reserve?) to testify. Supposedly someone from California is also looking to speak, saying these regulatory matters should be left to the states, not the Feds.

Federal Poker Bills to Get Full Hearing, April 16

by , Apr 10, 2010 | 5:54 am

A month-and-a-half ago Barney Frank (D-MA) was prepping us for life with the real UIGEA in fully enforced effect — at a time, no less, when Federal law enforcement was saying “we know who you are Full Tilt, and you better be ready to tell us who Isildur1 is!”

But this upcoming week, Frank’s online gambling bills apparently are moving … on the docket for Friday, April 16, are Full Committee hearings for H.R. 2266, Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act and H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act-Governmental Perspectives.

Click here to watch the committee hearing live when it happens.

UPDATE: This hearing has been postponed, without a new date set.


McDermott Bill Gets New Juice

States, tribes, foster kids promised slices of rev-share

by , Mar 26, 2010 | 5:58 pm

HR 2268, now HR 4976, aka the McDermott Bill, aka the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2009 2010, got re-introduced yesterday … it’s pretty similar to IGRTEA 2009, with two key differences:

IGRTEA 2010 specifies money for states and tribes — 6 percent — and attaches a dollar amount for a specific beneficiary, roughly $1 billion a year for foster-care programs. It’s being pitched as a sin tax, really — a simple addition to the tax code to allow one more group of disadvantaged youth to still get its government cheese. But if that’s the road they’re going down, perhaps they should earmark the $1 billion/year these kids will get from as being for foster kids with cancer and cleft palettes? How can you be against helping foster children make that abused foster children with cancer and cleft palettes.

Here’s the actual bill itself. Just three co-sponsors out the gate, one of them being Barney Frank.


UIGEA to go into effect June 1

by , Mar 17, 2010 | 6:17 pm

PokerNews is reporting that the UIGEA will go into effect on June 1, as the Treasury Department will not request another delay of the regulations to happen.

Semi-historic Vote Coming Up

How a Bill May or May Not Become a Law, Part 249

by , Jan 17, 2010 | 1:26 am

The PPA is giving a heads-up that they’ll be needing your help in coming weeks. Apparently, Barney Frank’s HR 2267 will be coming for a committee mark-up vote.

If I remember correctly, mark-up is where the committee votes yay or nay on moving the bill forward, but everyone, regardless of how they’re voting, gets to pipe in with what elements they’ll need to see in it to vote for it on the floor. So you know, maybe some sorta protection for the kids has to be included, or money for the Indians … that kinda thing.

Here’s PPA honcho John Pappas letting you know that anti-anti-poker legislation — a licensing and regulating bill — is indeed moving forward in 2010:

Joe Cada Lobbying in DC

RE: Spreading the Poker Word

by , Dec 8, 2009 | 11:37 am

That’s what the now-22-year-old WSOP Champ is doing today … meeting with Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) to help push Barney Frank’s legislation.