4/19/2012 : BARNEY FRANK PESSIMISTIC ON FEDERAL INTERNET POKER LEGALISATION
Veteran politician and online gambling supporter does not see legalization in the US happening this year
Congressman Barney Frank has done more than most to create a better political and legal climate for online gambling in the United States, but this week even he was pessimistic about the chances of federal legalization this year.
In an exclusive interview with Poker News, Congressman Frank, who retires next January after 32 years of service as a Democrat politician in both Massachusetts and Washington DC, admitted he had doubts on the success of legalization moves in Congress this year, although he acknowledged that there was considerable momentum in individual states for legalization.
Whilst opining that it is unlikely that a federal bill will be successful this year, Frank commented: "It's still possible. Reid wants to do it. A lot of people here want to do it. It might get done in the lame duck [session of Congress]. It could get done as part of an overall package. But I think other things will replace it."
He pointed to opposition from some Indian tribes, and the lack of full support from arch anti-online gambling opponent Sen. Jon Kyl as negative influences. "We might have to wait until Kyl is out of office for this to get done," Frank said.
Looking at the longer term, Frank was more positive, saying "…it's going to happen within the next couple years."
Congressman Frank identified the change of policy toward the Wire Act by the Justice Department as a key element in increasing the momentum for legalization, saying:
"What is galvanizing things is the interpretation of the Wire Act by the Justice Department and the threat of different states doing different things. The chaos inherent in that is a good argument for legalization."
"The best I can say is that, if the Senate passes something, I think we can get it through the House," Frank said. "But the Senate has got a lot of problems these days."