Support grows to stop UIGEA implementation

American justice

Seven more representatives have signed on to support Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Ron Paul's bill to stop the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

On May 15, H.R. 5767 got a boost with five more cosponsors added to the list. Representatives Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) all signed on last week.

This week saw representatives Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Steven Rothman (D-New Jersey) add their endorsement on Tuesday.

All seven of the new cosponsors are also signed on to the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act Frank introduced to legalize and regulate online gambling in the United States.

Frank tabled the bill in hopes of reversing an online gambling ban in the United States which has resulted in a World Trade Organization dispute and having to make trade concessions to appease other nations.

Instead of continuing forward with a ban, Frank thinks the United States should move toward regulating the industry to better protect American citizens who want to gamble online and are doing so on "illegal" online poker and online casino sites now.

The UIGEA further restricts online gambling by making certain money transactions between financial institutions and online gambling sites illegal. On April 2, a House subcommittee hosted a hearing to discuss the UIGEA, its implementation and its potential effects on the banking system tasked with enforcing the law.

According to Frank and Paul, who are both supporters of legalizing online gambling, the hearing pointed out the many flaws in the UIGEA and made the point that it is unworkable. Their response was to jointly draft H.R. 5767 to stop the implementation of the UIGEA.

They introduced the bill April 10 and by the end of the month they had 10 more cosponsors for the bill. They are:

  • Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)
  • Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)
  • William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
  • Bob Filner (D-Calif.)
  • Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.)
  • Michael Honda (D-Calif.)
  • Peter King (R-N.Y.)
  • James McGovern (D-Mass.)
  • James Moran (D-Va.)
  • Robert Wexler (D-Fla.)

Rep. Robert Wexler has his own bill regarding online poker, the Skill Game Protection Act, which he introduced in the House in June 2007. The Act, H.R. 2610, would provide an exemption in the UIGEA and other online gambling laws for the game of poker.

Rep. Shelley Berkley also has a bill still under consideration by the House that would initiate a study into online gambling in the United States.

She introduced H.R. 2140 in May 2007, proposing a study be done by the National Academy of Sciences to determine what the United States should do about Internet gambling.

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