Online Casino Regulation Markup Finally Arrives
Tomorrow, the House Financial Services Committee will proceed to markup for Barney Frank's bill proposing regulation for online casinos and Internet gambling sites. After more than a year spent waiting for the bill to be heard and acted upon by the committee, gambling patrons may now see some progress in restoring their individual rights to choose how to entertain themselves online.
The committee will discuss the suggested rules and regulations for online gambling operators after hearing debate on two other measures, both involving funding and rules concerning publicly supported housing. That makes the Internet gambling markup the third of seven scheduled items on the agenda.
Frank, as chairman of the committee, will certainly work to be sure his bill receives adequate attention, after having waited since the spring of last year to bring the bill to this stage. The committee has postponed the markup multiple times in order to deal with higher priorities involving the financial crisis, the mortgage conundrum, and the recession.
Ranking Republican member Spencer Bacchus is a noted opponent of online gambling, and is expected to resort to the repetition of urban myths and misperceptions about Internet casinos, a common strategy of his. But recent testimony by experts indicates support for the Frank bill extends much farther than just online casino players and operators.
In fact, the financial industry and its representatives have strongly expressed the need to replace the UIGEA with a regulatory system which includes rules for licensing online gambling sites. The UIGEA is causing difficulty for banks, credit card companies, Kentucky horse racing, state lotteries, and Internet freedom groups, as well as civil libertarians upset about unnecessary government intervention.
The Frank bill will be marked up sometime around the noon break, depending on the length of discussion on the housing bills. The process will be shown streaming live from the committee's website.
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