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Barney Frank Online Gambling Bill Goes to Vote Today

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/16/2008
Barney Frank

The latest incarnation of a bill to effectively abolish an online gambling prohibition measure, was being voted on Tuesday. Its chances of becoming law this year are close to zero but nobody will fault Congressman Barney Frank for his tireless efforts.

A House panel is scheduled to vote on the new bill that would require federal agencies to define unlawful Internet gambling so banks and other financial institutions can comply with the ban against online wagers. The banks contend that the language within the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is too vague especially since some online gambling venues such as horse racing have been exempt.

Just introduced late Thursday, the bill calls for the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to consult the U.S. attorney general's office in creating a formal process to make the definition.

Many online gambling operators, especially sports book owners, have expressed reservations about any such bill, contending that their activities will be singled out as "illegal".

The bill is the latest move by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, to clear up confusion about how to enforce the ban since President Bush signed it into law in October 2006.

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