Congressman wants to revoke gambling ban

Congressman Barney Frank

The U.S. Democratic chairman of the House financial services committee continues to oppose his country's online gambling ban, telling London's Financial Times that he plans to repeal the law.

Congressman Barney Frank was quoted by the newspaper as saying October's Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is one of the "stupidest laws" ever passed.

As a result of his comments, online gambling stocks rose Tuesday. Shares of PartyGaming, Plc. spiked to a peak not reached since 2005 and 888 Holdings, Plc. and SportingBet, Plc. climbed as well.

The shares of all online gambling companies took a tumble when U.S. President George Bush signed a bill banning banks and credit card companies from processing financial transactions to Internet gaming sites.

Frank was a vocal critic of the bill even in its early stages of discussion.

In July, the Congressman opposed the ban in the House of Representatives, saying the new law would risk the fundamental principle of the autonomy of the individual in the country.

"If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn't add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit," he said before the House.

Instead, Frank has suggested legalizing and regulating online gambling in the U.S., to allow the country to profit from the activity.

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