US Online Casino Anti-UIGEA Bill to Be Delayed
September 24, 2009
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An article in the CardPlayer magazine painted a rather gloomy assessment of Barney Frank’s anti-UIGEA bill, more correctly known as HR2267. As per last reports this bill was scheduled to be heard in September. However the financial issues arising out of the global economic downturn just do not seem to end. Health care is another issue that is consuming the Congress. Even Barney Frank is resigned to the fact the hearing may not take place this month and be pushed to October in the very least. There are even reports that the hearing will be pushed to 2010.
Therefore the focus has shifted on another of Frank’s bills, the HR 2266. This is the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act. HR 2266 is different from the HR 2267 in a material respect. HR 2267 seeks to overturn the UIGEA by legalizing online gambling and providing a regulatory mechanism for protecting the players’ interests. HR 2266 seeks to delay the full implementation of the UIGEA by one year. As of now the UIGEA will become effective from December 1, 2009. The HR 2266 seeks to push the date to December 1, 2010. The leaders of the online gambling movement, such as John Pappas the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), feel that the HR 2266 could make it through the busy Congress because the issues are less complicated and only temporary.
Meanwhile the pressure will not be released on the anti-UIGEA bill. Frank has reiterated his commitment to the bill. Pappas said, “What the PPA is going to do is continue to push for it as soon as possible, but in the meantime, build as much support for the legislation both on the committee and off the committee.” The HR 2267 has 55 co-sponsors as of now but with the current efforts it is hoped that the number will cross 70 very soon.
The HR 2266 is also not without opposition. However the PPA and others are working to see if a compromised bill can be drafted and the bill moved in September itself. A compromised bill may not witness too much debate and may go through Frank’s financial committee easily. Pappas said. “Hopefully, we wouldn’t even have to have a hearing. It could be a mark-up. A hearing is where you sit and talk about the bill. A mark-up is where you actually vote on it. The hope from our side is that if we can craft a non-controversial compromise, it is something that could be heard and voted on by the committee this month.” If it were approved by the committee, the bill could be passed by the House as a typical corrections bill.