Gambling News: Barney Frank Goes All In, AGA Goes All Out

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Gambling News

Congressman and Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, is determined to lift a ban on Internet gambling.  That was the top gambling news story heading into the week starting March 9, 2009.

"I'm going to be pushing it," he said at a press conference where he presented his agenda for reforming U.S. financial regulation. Opponents of the ban estimate that its elimination could, over a decade, raise more than $50 billion through taxes on online Internet gambling, provided it is regulated.

"The existing legislation is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans and this interference should be undone," Frank said.

Back in November, Frank told's own Jenny Woo that legalized online gambling would help bolster a sagging economy.

"I think if we do this right we should make online gaming legal and subject it to a reasonable taxation like anything else," he said.  "This does not conflict to our effort to stimulate the economy.  This isn't bad for the economy."

....American Gaming Association Spends $368,000 on Lobbying Efforts: The AGA spent over a quarter million during the 4th quarter of 2008 to lobby for legalization and regulation of online gambling.  The main focus was on clarifying rules concerning financial crimes.

The American Gaming Association has also lobbied for a bill to study the impact of Internet gambling. 

This isn't necessarily good news for the's, Full Tilt Poker's and Bodog's of the world.  The AGA represents MGM Mirage, Harrah's and Wynn Resorts, among other big name Las Vegas casino properties. 

In a meeting attended by John Pappas, President of the Poker Players Alliance, this past year, representatives from one of the aforementioned companies detailed their plans for entering the lucrative online poker market.  "Get rid of Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars".  Sources close to say that Pappas tried - without success - to defend Full Tilt Poker.

During a routine visit to Costa Rica last week, one operator we met with made a pretty daring prediction.

"Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars might be the one's buying out the Vegas casinos," Mickey Richardson of the oldest established online gambling site catering to the North American market,, said.

A year ago we would have all laughed at such an assertion.  Today, we're still laughing....but more because it's actually a pretty strong likelihood all things considered.

.....In other gambling news, as we reported on this past week - France Will Legalize Online Gambling Come Next Year.

The prospect of legalized Internet gambling becomes that much greater as countries like France and Italy have taken a complete about face over the past two years.  Some would argue that both countries had even stringent positions to that of the U.S. when it came to Web gambling. 

To illustrate these improved odds, consider the fact that U.S. restrictions on gambling typically cite the so-called "Wire Act" of 1962.  France's laws prohibiting all but state running gambling businesses date back to 1836.

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Christopher Costigan, Publisher        

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