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Senate Bill to Aid Barney Frank's Efforts to Overturn UIGEA is Coming
Thu, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 12:00am
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), shared some interesting U.S. legislative developments during this week's National Poker Week in Washington D.C. He said that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is now preparing a Senate bill to regulate and license online poker and Internet Gambling, as a companion to Congressman Barney Frank's HR 2267. To date, no time frame to introduce the Senate bill has been announced.
The goal of Frank's bill (HR 2267), called the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act of 2009, to establish a licensing, regulatory, and taxation framework to allow licensed online poker and Internet gambling operators to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the United States. Such licensed operators would be exempt from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Frank's HR 2267 bill added five new co-sponsors this past week: the latest being Rep. Linda Sanchez (D- CA) added her name as the forty-eighth co-sponsor of the Bill.
Barney Frank's bills were up for discussion after the 4th of July Congressional recess, but due to more pressing economic matters, the debate over online casinos, have been forced to delay the proposals until September.
Observers note that a Senate bill may help the passage of Frank's HR 2267, especially if it moves through the Senate faster. Should both bills pass the vote in their respective chambers before the winter break, the two bills would need to be reconciled, which would be a welcome process.
Opponents of Internet Gambling regulation, who seem uncertain how any voting on the issue might turn out, appear to be using a delay strategy to prevent voting from occurring.
Meantime, the UIGEA's outlawing the handling of online gambling payments continues to face judicial and political attack, in addition to legislative steps.
The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) case challenging the constitutionality of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) being heard by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is under consideration, though no time frame for their ruling is known (click here).
European Union Officials have been pursuing discussions with the U.S. to find an appropriate solution to end the discrimination against EU operators. If the parties cannot settle the matter themselves, the Commission could bring a case against the U.S. to the WTO (click here).
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