Is the next stage of a US attempt to legalise online gambling about to start?
The on-again, off-again HR2267 Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act authored by Congressman Barney Frank and supported by almost 70 so-sponsors may be back centre-stage soon, according to the Poker Players Alliance, a US players association with over a million members that is active on the American political scene.
According to PPA officials at the 41st World Series of Poker currently taking place in Las Vegas, the proposal could be marked up as early as next week, presumably in the House Financial Services Committee, which Congressman Frank chairs.
The bill was introduced in the House last May, but has been delayed by the volume of other financial work in the committee, and probably by careful tactical timing by the Congress-smart Frank.
The PPA recently raised an additional $27 000 for its campaigning through a widespread appeal, or ‘money bomb' to its 1.2 million members . The cash will be used to fund political publication advertising targeted on Washington politicians.
Frank continues to play his cards close to his chest, with PPA executive director John Pappas telling an ESPN interviewer at WSOP that the politician has hinted that a mark-up may be imminent.
The last hearing on HR2267 was in the Financial Services Committee last December when the usual for and against arguments were offered. At that time the senior (and anti-online gambling) Republican representative, Spencer Bachus, protested at the absence of officials from the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve – two key federal government departments involved in the much-delayed drafting of the regulations supporting the UIGEA, which were implemented on 1st June this year..