Upon Further Review, Waters May Not Be Against Online Gambling

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Upon Further Review, Waters May Not Be Against Online Gambling

The gambling Waters may not be as turbulent as originally feared.

California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who twice voted to make it illegal to use credit cards to fund online gambling, now says she would vote differently if the issue arises again in Congress.

Gambling911.com reported last week that the impending retirement of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, a leading proponent for the legalization of online gambling in the U.S. and the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, meant he would be replaced on the committee by an apparent opponent of online gambling, Waters.

Waters, Gambling911.com revealed, in 2003, when the U.S. House of Representatives first passed a bill making it illegal for credit cards to be used to fund online gambling, voted in favor of the bill.

The bill didn't become law then because the U.S. Senate didn't pass it, but it did become law in 2006 when it was voted on again and again Water voted for it.


Because Frank voted against the measure both times, a sharp contrast between the two Congress members' positions on online gambling appeared evident.

The issue is especially important because if the Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives next year, Waters as ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee would become chairwoman of the committee and have a huge role in setting the committee's agenda.

And that's important because that committee regulates the banks and credit card companies in the U.S. and would have considerable input into any new bills designed to regulate the use of credit cards for online gambling.

But now, Gambling911.com can reveal, Waters has done an apparent 180-degree flip, saying that if the issue of using credit cards to fund online gambling comes up again in Congress, this time she would vote to allow it.

In 2008, Congress held a special hearing to discuss the difficulties in enforcing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the online gambling and credit card legislation that was passed in 2006.

At that hearing, Waters said that while she had voted for UIGEA in 2006, she was now thinking she’d vote differently if given another opportunity.

That was the last public remark the congresswoman made about the issue, so one can reasonable presume that is still her position today, otherwise she would have said so.

So thing aren't as bleak as many online gambling supporters may have thought.

But then again, if the Democrats don't take control of the House next year, which at this point seems very unlikely, it really won't matter who the ranking Democrat on the committee is, because it will continue to be chaired by a Republican.

By Tom Somach

Gambling911.com Staff Writer