Barney Frank Pushes for new Federal Law for Internet Gambling

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Barney Frank

With individual states looking to start offering legalized Internet gambling to their residents, Congressman Barney Frank, now a minority leader, has drafted yet another bill, this time with full support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

Much of the focus these past few weeks has been on the state of New Jersey with a bill sitting on the desk of Governor Chris Christie.  He vetoed that bill right at the deadline, without conditions.  New Jersey voters will now need to decide as part of a referendum, but that will not occur until November. 

The Frank bill would be introduced as early as next month.

From the New York Post:

A bipartisan bill under way in Congress would allow Internet poker, blackjack and other games based outside the US, now illegal in the states, to open shops in the US and pay taxes.

The bill proposal, sponsored by Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), with Senate support by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), is due in April, said analyst Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business.

"The planets have aligned rather quickly for this federal version to succeed in Congress," he said, noting that it's being presented as a law enforcement bill to clean up the multibillion online gambling already in full bloom in the US.

"Since it's is couched as law enforcement legislation, it's gained new support from conservative Republicans," he said, adding it adds billions to depleted state and federal coffers as an alternative to hikes taxes.

Reid himself had attempted to push his own bill through back in December as part of an attachment to more urgent legislation but pulled back at the last moment.

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Internet gambling legislation will soon be eliminated.  The industry’s main opponent, Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona, announced he will not seek re-election.

“We are seriously re-evaluating the situation with Jon Kyl as it could have a significant impact,” stated founder Calvin Ayre during a recent visit to Costa Rica.

Individual states such as Iowa, Florida and California are attempting to pass their own legislation ahead of any federal laws.

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher

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