U.S. Congressman Barney Frank is authoring a bill that would establish a regulatory and licensing framework for online casino operators.
Frank has long been an opponent of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and has undertaken a number of steps to curb that legislation. He has opposed everything about the UIGEA, from the way it was introduced as an add-on to a port security bill to the effects it has on small banking institutions.
In fact, Frank is introducing his bill as a stand-alone, which some say reduces the chance it will pass. But Frank said it would be inappropriate to try to attach it to other legislation.
“It would be a mistake,” Frank told The Hill. “I want to do this with hearings, discussions and votes.”
Frank’s announcement has a number of people excited about the possibility of a legitimate discussion of online gaming in the U.S.
“We welcome a stand-alone bill, which would allow for a thorough discussion of all the issues relating to regulations and consumer protections,” Jeffrey Sandman, spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, told The Hill. “The excitement over Congressman Frank’s bill is that it would create an environment that would protect American consumers and include safeguards against underage gambling and compulsive gambling, which don’t exist right now.”
Despite the optimism and the perception that U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration are more friendly toward online regulations than the Bush administration, there are some who don’t think change is coming anytime soon.