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Online Casino News - April, 2009

U.S. Online Gambling More Unpredictable Than Keno


  Seed Newsvine

by Margaret Oliveira, News Staff Writer

April 16, 2009

Now that Democrat Senator and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, has publicly released the legislation he and countless other pro-online gambling activists hope will repeal the UIGEA and foster online gambling regulation, the prospects of just how likely the legislation stands a chance of passing, not to mention the support or lack thereof needed for it to pass, is becoming more clear.

Senator Frank is no stranger to controversy and opposition. Before even finishing his latest draft, opponents and naysayers were voicing their opinions. Just last month in the D.C. politics news site, "The Hill", an article expressed pessimism that Frank's legislation would not see the light of day. Not going so far to argue that Frank's legislation is flawed or unenforceable, the article said the legislation faced a "tough course to passage" because it is being introduced as a stadalone bill, rather than an attachment to a greater bill.

And while this argument may have some merit, perhaps Senator Frank wants to take a much higher road than his nemesis colleagues who were able to get the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed as an attachment to a Port Security bill back in 2005. Or, perhaps Frank knows he has the support, even from conservatives, needed to get the bill passed.

This is indeed what some insiders and analysts believe, such as former U.S. Senator, Alfonse D'Amato. Although he is the Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (one of the largest and strongest lobbying forces for the legalization of online poker), thus giving him good reason to be biasly optimistic, D'Amato has some good points to make. He recently chimed in his own two cents on "The Hill", stating that Frank's legislation will draw support from both sides of the camp who are equally disappointed with the failings of the UIGEA.

Because the UIGEA is costing taxpayers billions of unearned revenue, and is driving off billions more in capital and jobs by chasing off online gambling operators, and all the while does nothing to effectively enforce an online gambling ban, some politicians are comparing it to the failings of prohibition in the 1920's. Furthermore, the UIGEA does not effectively protect the underage and potentially problematic online gamblers. Frank's legislation, however, offers viable solutions to protecting children. In similar fashion to how the UK is currently successfully regulating online gambling, Frank's legislation sets forth strict guidelines that hold betting operators accountable.

Online casino gamblers shouldn't get too excited just yet. Even if the bill does receive Congressional approval, individual State's will have the choice of regulating or not. In other words, the U.S. facing online gambling landscape may soon become a virtual extension of Las Vegas. Depending on one's residence, the act of internet betting may become an increasingly difficult thing to do.



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