July adds five cosponsors to online gambling bill

Mt. Rushmore

The number of cosponsors to Rep. Barney Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act is steadily increasing with the addition of five new names to the list in the month of July.

Representatives Anthony D. Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) attached their support to the bill July 10, while Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.), Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.) and Albert Russell Wynn (D-Md.) signed up Thursday.

The addition of the latest representatives grows the current list of cosponsors to 31, up from the bill's original 11 when Frank first introduced the Act, otherwise known as H.R. 2046, to the House in April.

Frank's bill is an answer to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, signed into law by U.S. president George Bush last October. The Act effectively banned online gambling in the U.S. by making transactions from banks and credit card companies to Internet casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites illegal.

After it's passage, Frank deemed the bill "preposterous" and one of the "stupidest laws" he'd ever seen passed.

The Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act would essentially reverse the October law and offer provisions to prevent underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering and fraud.

Also seeking support are Representatives Robert Wexler, who has put forward his Skill Game Protect Act to exempt games including poker from the UIGEA; Jim McDermott's Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative that calls for the legalization and taxation of online poker; and Shelley Berkley, who is calling for a study into Internet poker for the purposes of taxing, regulating and providing protection for minors.

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