Update: In a surprise announcement, Representative Barney Frank is retiring from the US Congress. As you know, Sunshine Slots has been following Mr. Franks's efforts to repeal the UIGEA Law. Clearly, his departure will have a major impact on this legislation; although it should be pointed out that other Congressmen, who have been co-signers of this bill, have been continuing the fight to legalize online gambling. As always, we will keep you updated regarding this important legislation.
Congressman Barney Frank is the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Services since 2007. The committee has a very wide jurisdiction, and it is the second largest committee in the Congress. Recently, Mr. Frank introduced legislation that would repeal the current UIEGA law. Thus, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act of 2009 would put into motion a new law that would allow online casino gambling and unlike the current law would be clearly understood.
To this end, here is the current legislation as written: "The Congress Finds the Following"
Since the development of the Internet, millions of people have chosen to gamble online, and today Internet gambling is offered by operators located in many different countries under a variety of licensing and regulatory regimes. Despite the increasing use of the Internet for gambling by persons in the United States, there is no Federal or State regulatory regime in place to protect United States citizens who choose to engage in this interstate activity, or to oversee operators to establish and enforce standards of integrity and fairness. In the United States, gambling activities, equipment, and operations have been subject to various forms of Federal and State control, regulation, and enforcement, with some form of gambling being permitted in nearly every State and by many Indian tribes. Internet gambling in the United States should be controlled by a strict Federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals, to ensure the games are fair, to address the concerns of law enforcement, and to enforce any limitations on the activity established by the States and Indian tribes. An effective Federal licensing system would ensure that licenses are issued only to Internet gambling operators which meet strict criteria to protect consumers, and which-- are in good financial and legal standing, and of good character, honesty, and integrity; utilize appropriate technology to determine the age and location of users; adopt and implement systems to protect minors and problem gamblers; adopt and implement systems to enforce any applicable Federal, State, and Indian tribe limitations on Internet gambling; and have in place risk-based methods to identify and combat money laundering and fraud relating to Internet gambling, and to protect the privacy and security of users.
There is a need to extend the regulatory provisions of this Act to all persons, locations, equipment, practices, and associations related to Internet gambling, with each State and Indian tribe having the ability to limit Internet gambling operators from offering Internet gambling to persons located within its territory by opting out of the provisions of this Act.
Since this legislation was written, Mr. Frank has received over 60 co-sponsors for this bill and recent hearings were held to discuss the entire matter of online casino gambling. We should also mention that Harrah's Entertainment Group recently launched a new online casino as a direct result of this pending legislation. There is no doubt that online casino gambling has resulted in much needed revenue for governments around the world. We look forward to more debates on this issue and are confident Mr. Frank will prevail in his efforts to bring this bill to the Senate floor for debate and ultimate enactment.