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Campbell Introduces Federal Internet Gambling Bill

18 March 2011 by admin

John-CampbellThursday night U.S. Congressman John Campbell formally introduced a new bill in the House of Representatives that would repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and replace it with a federal online gambling regulatory framework. It is the first federal attempt at repealing UIGEA since Barney Frank’s failed bill last year, which cleared the House Financial Services Committee but never reached a full floor vote.

The new bill, HR 1174, is called the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. You may notice that it is the same title as Frank’s failed bill from last year, HR 2267. Sources say that Campbell’s bill is virtually identical to Frank’s. No companion bill has yet been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

This bill already has bipartisan support. It was proposed and introduced by Republican Campbell (CA) but is co-sponsored by Barney Frank (D-MA), Peter King (R-NY) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO). It is not known how much support the bill will have throughout the Republican-controlled House. However, with Republicans looking for ways to cut into the deficit and Democrats seemingly unwilling to cut spending or take on entitlement reform, Republicans – even those who oppose gambling – may look at the bill as a way to generate much-needed revenue.

The proposed legislation would regulate an industry that is already thriving in the United States, despite efforts by the federal government to block it via restrictions on financial transactions. The bill also places an emphasis on a “thorough vetting of penitential licensees” and the creation of a list of legal and illegal operators in addition to safeguards to protect minors and problem gamblers.

The online gambling bill has been referred to three House committees. That includes the Committee on Financial Services, which is chaired by Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which is chaired by Fred Upton (R-MI), and the Committee on the Judiciary, which is chaired by Lamar Smith (R-TX).

That means all three of those committees would have to approve the legislation before it could reach a full floor vote on the House. All four co-sponsors of the bill are members of the Financial Services Committee, with Frank the ranking Democrat.

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