On May 4th, 2009, the Poker Players Alliance announced that Representative Barney Frank will debut a new bill that seeks to change the policies of the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) at a 10:00 a.m. press conference tomorrow. R
Representative Frank's bill has been in the works for a long time now. An aide for Rep. Frank stated in an interview in February that the bill would be debut in the following month, but the introduction has been delayed a lot of time. However, Rep. Frank will finally have his chance to launch his poker bill. In an interview with Card Player recently, Frank said that he wants to introduce a bill that will repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Frank, the head of the House Financial Services Committee, said that the government could utilize the money coming from online gaming to pay for important projects. He added that online gaming should not be taxed excessively but like any other legal activity, it could be subjected to a reasonable percentage of taxation. Frank said that while the financial aspects for the proposal while vital, are not his main reason for introducing the bill.
He states that his main goal is to stop the government from meddling in the private lives of its citizens. Rep. Frank introduced a similar poker bill in 2007 that never made it to a House vote. Frank said that he is optimistic about the chances of his proposal although the road ahead is tough. As for where any potential profit from online gambling would be allotted, that issue is still in its infancy on Capitol Hill.
Representative Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, will likely debut a bill in the coming weeks concerning the financial side of online gambling regulation. McDermott has previously introduced poker proposals in the past. Just last year, he proposed utilizing profit from online gaming to assist in creating more jobs for past foster care participants and employment training.
Representative Shelley Berkley, a supporter of Rep. Frank's proposal, has expressed reservation regarding the bill of McDermott. Rep. Berkley said that she intends to set the taxation and regulation at the state level. Rep. Frank said that it would be at least September until his proposal makes it to the floor for a House vote. Frank and the PPA encourage all supporters of the proposal to write to their Congressman to express their support on the issue.