Frank to Unveil Plan to Overturn UIGEAPublished May 5, 2009 by OCR Editor
Pro-gambling congressman signals intention to unveil plan to once again legalize online gambling in the US.
US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) is expected to unveil his plan this week to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Frank said he would "be introducing it next week and I plan to move on it" when asked about the expected bill at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit last Tuesday.
The UIGEA, which was passed in 2006, effectively banned Internet gambling by outlawing the transfer of funds from a financial institution to Internet gambling sites.
Since then, Frank - the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee - has been at the head of a campaign overturn the bill, with pro-gambling campaigners pointing out that the new rules infringe on Americans' civil liberties and cause the US to miss out on billions of dollars of tax revenue it could reap from gambling.
However, there are still skeptics, even among those in favor of legalizing gambling.
Florida-based online gambling legal expert Pat O'Brien told a conference in the Canadian province of Ontario that state-level attempts to legalize online gambling remain more viable than Frank's attempt at the federal level, gaming Web site Gamblingcompliance.com reported.
"I don't see Barney Frank's bill going anywhere," O'Brien was quoted as saying. "I see [legalization of online gaming happening state-by-state, with one or two states then getting together and saying let's share poker players and let's share lottery players."
This could turn out for the better, however, with O'Brien predicting that legalization in one or two states could produce a domino effect in which some degree of action was pursued at a federal level, as has happened with online betting in the horse racing industry.