PPA weighs in on online gambling bill

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Alfonse D'Amato, former U.S. senator and current Poker Players Alliance chairman, issued a statement this week in response to the House Financial Services Committee approving H.R. 6870, the Payments Service Protection Act.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), seeks to limit the scope of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to illegal online sports betting and to have the law include a clear list of what is considered illegal online gambling.

"The PPA is pleased that the House Financial Services Committee today recognized the need to provide necessary clarification to what constitutes 'unlawful Internet gambling' under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act by passing H.R. 6870," D'Amato said in a statement Tuesday.

"This bipartisan compromise bill will rightfully advance the UIGEA to become immediately effective for such Internet gambling that is clearly unlawful, namely sports betting."

The former senator also pointed out that the new legislation "appropriately" requires a formal rulemaking overseen by an administrative law judge to provide clarification of the definition of "illegal online gambling" for the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury.

"Even those who oppose Internet gambling should applaud the passage of this legislation as it provides the most realistic opportunity to block truly unlawful Internet gambling transactions," D'Amato said.

"The PPA congratulates the Republicans and Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee on reaching this strong compromise bill, and we look forward to enactment of this sound public policy during this legislative session."

Now the bill awaits a hearing on the House floor. If the members of the House vote to approve the bill, it will then move on to the Senate.

The bill will have to move pretty fast again if it is going to get considered by the full House before the members break for the November election. Congress will recess Sept. 26 in order for those members up for reelection to go on the campaign trail.

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