Posts Tagged ‘Barney Frank’

Barack Obama on Online Gambling (Sorta)

Not good job creation strategy, President says

by , Dec 5, 2009 | 2:47 am

Finally, someone asked President Barack Obama semi-directly about gambling legalization. The college-student questioner didn’t specify online gambling, and he lumped us in with drugs, prostitution, and other non-violent crime with revenue generating potential.

But it does give a little insight suggesting that we probably shouldn’t expect President O to wholeheartedly support the efforts of Barney Frank et al.

ALT HED 1: Come on, Flip-Flop!
ALT HED 2: Is that Isildur?

Free Pokerati T-shirt to anyone (college student or otherwise) who can get an on-the-record audience with the Prez and can ask essentially the same question, but being a little more specific about “online gambling”. Throw a few government stats in there, too, and phrase it in a way that allows less generic wiggle room.

(Or not. Maybe now we know we don’t want Obama getting involved in our issue?)

Live-Blogging a Relatively Minor Congressional Confab

by , Dec 3, 2009 | 7:23 am

I may or may not be talking about this morning’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on today’s episode of The Poker Beat … so that’s why I’m up listening/watching/clicking. It’s kinda a big deal, I think … we got our 6-month extension on the enforcement deadline, and now, here in Barney Frank’s committee, the good rep is basically (re-re-re?)-reintroducing legislation that could effectively undo the UIGEA.

Here’s what I’m watching. Follow along if you we can …

* Yikes, video is great – HD! – but audio sucks, like irritatingly buzzy and scratchy.

* Barney’s opening argument … personal freedom. On the internet.

* He quotes John Stewart John Stuart Mill.

* Holy shit, you can pause this video? Like even without Tivo … awesome. I’ll be right back … need to get a beverage …

* OK, I’m back. While I was gone a press release came over the wire … apparently something that will be introduced forthcoming:


Lineup for Online Gambling Hearing Thursday

by , Dec 2, 2009 | 3:12 pm

(h/t to Oldbookguy over at 2+2):

Thursday is the hearing in the Barney Frank-led House Financial Services Committee in regards to regulating online gambling.

Witness List & Prepared Testimony:

You can watch the proceedings over at this link

Dec 3 – 10:00 AM ET

The Honorable Robert Martin, Tribal Chairman, Morongo Band of Mission Indians
Ms. Parry Aftab, Executive Director, WiredSafety
Professor Malcolm K. Sparrow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Mr. Keith S. Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling
Mr. Jim Dowling, Dowling Advisory Group
Mr. Samuel A. Vallandingham, Chief Information Officer and Vice President, The First State Bank on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America
Mr. Mike Brodsky, Executive Chairman,

You can read the testimony for each person at the PPA site.

Semi-legal Online Poker: the Regulation Paradox

by , Nov 20, 2009 | 12:21 pm

Hmm, you know, it’s what been perplexing me, too … how some of the people who are pushing hardest for “our issue” are the people who stand to lose the most (in the short-term at least) should the Barney Frank or Robert Menendez bill(s) pass. The only explanation I can come up with is religious in nature … like sacrificing a cow.

But a drinky Steve Lipscomb and even drinkier online poker exec were offering up a bit more at G2E this week.

Officially, they want to be regulated, but …
Unofficially, large online poker sites have the best of both worlds

After his segment, Lipscomb found the executive at the bar — “three or four drinks ahead of me,” he said this week at the Global Gaming Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The executive had just finished an interview in which he said he wants his business to be regulated and taxed in the United States, instead of operating in a legal gray area. He had a different story for Lipscomb.

“He said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” Lipscomb said. “ ‘I don’t want to be regulated and taxed. That’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. I’m making money without being taxed, without being regulated.’ ”

The executive’s conflicting statements illustrate the fractured nature of online poker in the U.S., Lipscomb said.

Word I’m hearing, btw, is that we’re drawing dead to a 1-outer in a 47-card deck for any anti-UIGEA legislation passing in 2009 … though I am (supposedly) eagerly awaiting to hear “good news” on the UIGEA delay — a move being pushed through the executive branch, not the legislative — like today … which I have come to learn in political circles probably means like Tuesdayish or maybe never.


New Poll: What Will Dec. 1 Bring?

by , Nov 13, 2009 | 7:22 am

That’s what we wanna know … do you think this UIGEA enforcement deadline is gonna pass with out much ado? Efforts to delay this by a year seems to be the current push … though that’s essentially running it through the executive branch … a lotta different interests in play there. And, of course, Congress is still in session … do you see any chance that anyone can close the deal through legislative means? Barney?

Here’s the PPA ED John Pappas giving a little more insight on what this date means to the folks in Washington DC, and what the PPA is doing to fight it. But damn, with the clock having been called, will it be enough?

Don’t forget to vote — right over there, on your right. I mean sheeyot, if you can’t click a button a couple inches away … then maybe we’re due to get exactly what we deserve?

Look for tells on Pappas’ face for any reads on how he might really see the situation.

RE: Banks Prepping for Kibosh

by , Nov 5, 2009 | 4:29 pm

Another example suggesting that change is afoot unless Barney Frank & Friends can save American-friendly online poker sites in 25 days or fewer when you count Thanksgiving:

Click above to see the full letter, and click below for my Google translation from corporate bank-speak to poker English:


Utah Rep Warns: Fully Legal Online Gambling Is Coming!

by , Oct 30, 2009 | 1:01 pm

Freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) fears online gambling, but hopes his TV show does as well as 2 Months 2 Million.

I’m not sure how much we’re supposed to be sayin’ about this … it seems like a major change in online-gambling law could still be in play in 2009 … but if so, our peeps in DC may be trying to keep it all on the downlow. At least that’s what a staunchly anti-gambling Republican in Utah is trying to suggest.

“I’m raising the red flag,” Chaffetz told the Deseret News on Wednesday. “I feel the imperative to get this organized before it is too late.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz is speaking to his constituents sounding the warning bells that the billions and billions from online gambling that government just may not be able to say no to could dramatically alter everyone’s way of life. And he doesn’t just mean the positive stuff that we see from being able to play in safe and secure US-based games …

Chaffetz says a chance meeting he had with Frank makes him worry that unlike similar past efforts that went nowhere, Frank is deadly serious about legalizing online gambling this year, and it could come up quickly without much time to organize opposition.

“I saw him in the airport in Salt Lake a number of weeks ago,” Chaffetz said. “I said, ‘Barney, what are you doing here in Salt Lake?’ He was traveling back from Las Vegas, which led to our discussion about his Internet gambling bills.”

Chaffetz said, “He assured me that come this fall, he would be getting these bills through his committee, and I believe him … He may be bluffing, but we can’t afford to take that chance.”


“This has an unfortunate and real potential of happening,” he said. “This is a big deal. I can’t impress upon you how big of a deal this is.”

Wow. Cool. Awesome. We know we have public support for “our issue” and in general our facts fall on the right side of the law … so I gotta think we only stand to benefit if a guy like Chaffetz is using Frank’s efforts to rally his own base in preparation for 2010 … because really, isn’t that his game here?

Link props: @TheEngineer2008.

UPDATE: Chaffetz is on Twitter, too, as @JasonintheHouse. And he’s also star of a new reality series on CNN called “Freshman Year”.

It is TV ratings season … and mainstream media folks tend to figure a few times a year that gambling stories are “sexy”.

New Steam for Anti-UIGEA Measures?

by , Oct 29, 2009 | 12:32 pm

I kinda thought interest in pushing through the Barney Frank bill (in 2009 at least) had waned … but the Wall Street Journal has an article on the tens of billions available to US coffers by lifting the perceived (if not ill-conceived) online gambling ban, theoretically keeping “our issue” on the table:

Bill Lifting US Online Gambling Ban Seen Raising $42B In Rev


Iowa Fixin’ to Get All Kentucky-y on Online Gambling?

by , Sep 30, 2009 | 6:21 am

Kinda. They probably don’t want to ban it, or even take over Costa Rican domains … but they do want to have their say in how Iowans go about the business of online money games.

From the Iowa Politics Insider:

Iowa should keep its options open and develop plans to “protect its borders” while Internet gambling legislation is being debated in Congress, Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Terry Rich said Tuesday.


The legislation could include provisions authorizing the federal government to regulate and tax Internet gambling in Iowa if the state’s elected officials don’t take action within a specified time frame, Rich said. He is urging state officials to protect their right to either reject or approve Internet gambling, and to impose taxes.

“The decision may be to do something, do nothing; but to at least have control so that if you do something in the state of Iowa that the state legislature and the governor decides what it should be,” Rich said.

And therein lies what seems to me the next big obstacle for regulated online poker — the states. They want theirs. And eventually all will follow in the footsteps of Kentucky, Minnesota, California, Iowa, et al. and take a look at the revenue possibilities should the Feds want to tax activities within their borders. Then it becomes a matter of who has the right to grab what … and issues of states rights, no matter how any level of legislation looks, is usually only settled in the higher courts.

Senator Proposes Online Gambling Regulation
to Offset Health Care Costs

Could Frank bill become Baucus bill amendment?

by , Sep 22, 2009 | 9:25 pm

The idea of using online gaming tax revenues to help fund elements of health care reform became part of the Congressional conversation this weekend. On Saturday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a possible amendment to the Baucus bill (America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009) that would rely on the passage of Rep. Barney Frank’s HR 2267 to set up a regulatory structure that would provide health care revenue.

According to the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, the tens of billions of dollars collected by the U.S. government from online gaming could offset health care costs going forward:

An increased focus on the benefits of Internet gambling regulation are expected as the Senate Finance Committee considers a proposal introduced on Saturday to use Internet gambling revenue to offset the costs of health care reform. The amendment offered by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would dedicate Internet gambling tax revenue generated through implementation of the currently pending Internet Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) to increase low-income subsidies provided through the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis shows that collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would allow the U.S. to capture up to $62.7 billion over the next decade.

Wyden is a chairman of the Senate Finance subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness.

Newsweek on National Poker Week

by , Jul 24, 2009 | 10:23 pm

Nothing we don’t already know … but again, good that the national non-poker media is at least aware. And if we learned anything from our efforts in Texas over the post several years, the media still loves poker-related legal stories. Something to keep in mind when we make a more serious push.

the biggest problem for poker enthusiasts appears to be an already crowded legislative agenda. Frank has pushed his bill off until September.

I almost forgot that when this National Poker Week was conceived, it was supposed to coincide with active hearings. Can’t help but wonder how that might’ve made things different.

Barney Frank’s Timeline + Prepping for Protectionism

Perspectives Weekly

by , Jul 11, 2009 | 9:36 am

This week we look at Representative Barney Frank’s visit to the World Series of Poker where he inspired the Main Event crowd! Plus we have industry news from and the iMega Group.

Congressman Barney Frank Visited the WSOP Today

Did Not Arrive in Chariot or With Indian Headdress So Received Little Attention

by , Jul 5, 2009 | 2:56 pm

It was no secret. It has been public information since mid-June, and the PPA announced it days ago that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank made plans to visit the WSOP today. First, he took to the floor of the Amazon Room to speak to the Day 1C players and issue the “shuffle up and deal command,” after which he toured the Rio Convention Center to see poker’s bizness and held a press conference at 1pm. You’d think it might be quite an event for those with any interest in the future of the poker industry.

But while the general reception Frank received in the Amazon Room was positive, it also gave an indication of what kind of struggles his efforts face. Beyond having to deal with the self-promotional shenanigans of Phil Hellmuth and all he brings to the table in the name of poker (for better or worse), behind me on the rail were some poker players/fans/bigots who made hateful gay jokes during his entire short-but-semi-important speech.

Nearing the 1pm start of the press conference in the Full Tilt Chris Ferguson suite, there were about 5 reporters present. No kidding. By the time Frank began speaking, there were possibly twice that, excluding PPA representatives and Full Tilt Poker bigwigs. Of the 5-8 media outlets represented, ESPN got their headshot early and left, before the speech had hardly started.

Some of what the disinterested might have missed:

~It is likely that the Obama Administration was not behind the Southern District of New York’s seizure of more than $30 million in online poker site payments, though Frank is pursuing answers and will attempt to clarify the role of the Department of Justice in the actions.

~While Frank’s current proposed legislation (H.R. 2267) may not be heard in committee until September, it is a priority for Frank to push his companion legislation (H.R. 2266) that will delay the implementation of the UIGEA through 2010.

Meanwhile, everyone else was standing outside the Rio waiting for Phil Hellmuth to arrive in a chariot with scantily-clad chicks, then following him down the hall like he was someone important President Obama. After that embarrassment spectacle, I noticed that there was more media interested in interviewing a WSOP player wearing a full-length Indian headdress than were in the Frank press conference.


I just can’t help but wonder if the people who ignored Frank’s presence today will be the same ones asking why the delay in passing pro-poker legislation, or why their online poker funds are frozen, or why they have trouble finding work in the poker industry.

Web Filtering and Delays in the Frank Bill

Perspectives Weekly

by , Jul 3, 2009 | 7:57 pm

Internet filtering software specifically targeting online gambling sites is here! Plus, why is the Barney Frank Bill about to be delayed up to two months?

60 Minutes to Re-Air AP Cheating Scandal Story

This Sunday, June 28

by , Jun 26, 2009 | 7:03 pm

On a day when the world’s eyes will likely be focused on Day 3 of $50k HORSE USA vs. Brazil, 60 minutes is rerunning their story on the biggest scandal to hit online poker.

Curious timing. It could just be a throwaway piece of filler, or it could be given an introductory time-hook connecting it to the kickoff of the WSOP. (The non-poker world that hasn’t been following us for the past month thinks the World Series starts next week.) Or … might the replay have been pushed in connection with National Poker Week and the supposedly soon-to-be-heard Barney Frank bill?

ADDENDUM: Yep, pushed back to September.

If that’s the case, you gotta wonder which side pushed for that — the side that contends prohibition is necessary because online poker is a crooked, degenerate pursuit, or the side trumpeting regulation in part because of the assistance needed to keep the game clean.