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Support grows for USA online casino gambling law change

June 27, 2009

Rep. Barney Frank watches the probability growing for revoking a long-sought online casino gambling ban.

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee holds the latest confiscation of millions of dollars in online poker proceeds only reinforces his hand since it prompts voters and politicians how global — and potentially hazy — the existent bill is.

“It helps,” Frank expressed since the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York confiscated, or stopped, $34 million in bank accounts affiliated with 27,000 internet poker players. The eloquently astringent Massachusetts Democrat will use the bulk of this year helping the Obama administration reregulate Wall Street in retort to last fall’s financial collapse. However, he also wishes another break at revising the ban on online casino gambling.

Even his Republican partner, who led a charge last year to beat rules gutting the law, holds Frank is keeping much better cards in the present Congress then he had in the previous one. “It’s going to be an uphill battle to stop it this time,” expressed Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus, the ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee and a longtime online casino gambling adversary who titles the pastime the nation’s “fastest-growing addiction.”

“We caught them off guard last time,” he revealed. “This time, they won’t be off guard.”

The problem is how far Frank hopes to go in revising the present law. Banks, credit card companies and other financial associations he supervises are inquiring Congress for more clearness in how to police the present ban, since they bear the onus for obstructing deposits to online casino gambling websites abroad.

Frank, though, initiated rules last month that move much further. It would formulate a licensing and regulative structure that would permit USA casino players to play poker and place other bets on government-approved internet casino sites — a progressive motion that could ultimately whip up billions of dollars in much-needed incomes for states or the federal government.

Whatever route he follows, any revise confronts hard opposition in the Senate from Jon Kyl, the Arizona Republican, who labored for years to decree the present law.

It has a long, unclean past on Capitol Hill. Legions of well-funded lobbyists — led, in part, by Jack Abramoff — overpowered the petitions of Christian traditionalists to recurrently block it. Writers made a string of judgmental compromises over the years, and Congress endorsed the Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act in 2006 after then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, in a nod to the Christian conservative voters, he was making up to for a possible White House bid, unobtrusively added the rules to a must-pass a port security bill right before leaving office.

Last summer, Frank attempted to pass a bill wishing the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to clarify distinctly what types of online casino gambling are not approved under the prohibition, after financial firms quarreled that the current law remains too hazy and hard for them to impose. However, a late outpouring of opposition ensued in a stalemate that constrained Frank to forsake his bill.

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