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Poker News

27.05.2014

July Markup Planned for Barney Frank Internet Gambling Bill

     Although no date has been set, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) announced his intentions to mark up HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, as part of a hearing in July. Frank’s revelation came during testimony in the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on internet gambling on Wednesday.

The markup will take place in the House Financial Services Committee, of which Frank is the Chair. Frank’s committee last tackled internet gambling legalization in December. Then, Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the Ranking Member of the Committee, asked for a follow-up hearing with members of the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve. However, no additional hearing has taken place in the House Financial Services Committee.

Frank told House Ways and Means members on Wednesday, “It is true that the House did pass by a large margin [the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act]. The Senate fooled us. It acted quickly. Because we had a Republican leader who was intent on running for President, he got that bill added onto a bill in the Senate to which it was unrelated. When that became law, it became law to the consternation of many.” Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) was the driving force behind attaching the UIGEA to the SAFE Port Act in 2006.


Fueling the push for the House Financial Services Committee markup hearing is the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the industry’s main lobbying voice. The organization’s Executive Director, John Pappas, told Poker News Daily that he’s looking forward to July’s event: “We want to see a very successful markup. We want to make this as bipartisan as possible and I think we’re on the right path to do that.”


Congressman Jim McDermott’s (D-WA) HR 4976, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, was introduced in late March and carries four co-sponsors. No markup occurred during Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing and no follow-up hearing has been announced.


On June 1st, the financial services industry in the United States must fall into line with the regulations of the UIGEA. Whether the landscape of the industry will change following the date is anyone’s guess. The PPA was successful in delaying industry compliance with the UIGEA rules from December 1st to June 1st. The organization currently has a petition out to exempt peer-to-peer games from the UIGEA, but it has not yet been acted on.

 


 

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