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Barney Frank to launch another legislative attack on Uigea
Barney Frank, the Democratic Party's chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and a strong supporter of legalising online gambling in the United States, is preparing to launch another legislative attack on the controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, according to a Reuters report as the week ended.
Frank has been a consistent opponent of the Act, which disrupts financial transactions with online gambling companies and has caused billions of dollars in losses in European companies, major foreign trade hassles for the USA and extra work for a confused and already over-extended financial services industry charged with enforcing the act.
Passed in a late night session of a Congress about to go into recess, and attached to a completely unrelated "must pass" security bill, the UIGEA has been controversial and widely criticised from its inception in late 2006, when it was signed into law by former US president George Bush, precipitating an exodus from the US market of major publicly listed and reputable gambling groups.
Government agencies trying to draft regulations supporting the politically ill-considered law subsequently admitted difficulty in framing sufficiently precise provisions, causing the drafting process to go way over deadlines, and a last-minute rush by an outgoing administration to bring the regulations into force.
Although the regulations have been in place for only a few weeks, the adverse impact of a confusing law (the lack of a definition of "illegal gambling" is a major fault) is already being felt as a financial services industry that is already under pressure errs on the side of caution in blocking "illegal" transactions.
This week a member of Congressman Frank's staff confirmed that the respected political leader plans to introduce legislation to repeal the UIGEA.
"The bill introduction should happen in the next month," the aide told Reuters. "Mr. Frank will bring back legislation to repeal the UIGEA ."
Congressman Frank's attempt to overturn the UIGEA comes against a background of continued pressure from the government of Antigua and Barbuda, which has conducted a fierce and so far successful fight in the World Trade Organisation against the UIGEA and the inequities of US anti-online gambling laws.
In addition, the European Union has taken up the cudgels for major online gambling companies in Europe prejudiced by the law. Whilst EU officials have said a negotiated resolution is preferred, a complaint to the WTO is on the cards should this prove impossible to achieve.
Reuters recaps the case of Anurag Dikshit, a founder of PartyGaming who pleaded guilty in December to Internet gambling charges and agreed to pay $300 million in fines after negotiating with the US Department of Justice.
EU industry officials said the pressure on Dikshit to make a deal showed the Justice Department had crossed a major line in its prosecution of cases. The European Commission, acting on an industry petition through the Remote Gaming Association, began a formal investigation in March into whether Washington was singling out EU companies for enforcement actions while allowing U.S. online firms to operate freely.
Sources familiar with that investigation told Reuters in Brussels last week that they expect the Commission investigators' report, initially due last year, to recommend action at the WTO when it is released next month.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
New MPN Poker Rooms Tower Torneos -
Impressed with Microgaming, having already integrated with the Quickfire platform to gain access to some of the industry’s best gaming content, Tower Torneos has extended the relationship with poker.<
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