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Pro-Poker Legislation Will Be Introduced in Coming Weeks

Both Congressmen Frank and McDermott Plan on Introducing Bills


Congressman Jim McDermottSoon. It’s coming soon.

That’s what the poker community has been told about Congressional action regarding the reversal of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This week, it has become much clearer just how soon poker players can expect that action.
“I expect that we will introduce the legislation in 2-3 weeks. Like last session, we will introduce after [Congressman Barney Frank’s legislation],” Mike DeCesare, the chief of staff for Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), told Card Player this week.

McDermott has fought for the taxation and regulation of online poker in the past, most notably in a bill he introduced last year, H.R. 6501. That bill would’ve used revenue from the regulation of Internet gambling for job training and opportunities for past foster care participants.

Frank (D-MA), of course, has also been at the heart of the fight for online poker. He previously introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007 — which would have repealed the UIGEA — but that bill also never made it to the House floor for a vote.

An aide for Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) told Reuters last month that poker players and fans could expect to see action in the near future.

“The bill introduction should happen in the next month,” the spokesman said in February. “Mr. Frank will bring back legislation to repeal the UIGEA.”

The UIGEA was passed as a last-minute attachment to the SAFE Port Act in 2006. While the law does not criminalize the playing of online poker in the U.S., it severely hampers the industry because  it makes it illegal for banks, credit-card companies, and payment processors like PayPal to transfer funds from potential customers to online casinos, and vice versa.

Greg Raymer has been doing his part in the fight for online poker.The Poker Players Alliance was founded in 2005 to protect the rights of poker players, but the non-profit organization has been especially active in the past few months in its fight against the UIGEA. PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato made the case for regulation in an article for the Congressional magazine Roll Call last January, and he sat down with Card Player last month to talk about the PPA’s future.

Former World Champ Greg Raymer, a patent lawyer and a member of the PPA Board of Directors, has also hit the political trail in defense of the game. He attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February on behalf of the PPA, and has since appeared on Fox Business News to explain why he is — and why most people should be —for the regulation of online poker.

Tags: poker law


over 12 years ago

Frank is a CROOK!!!


over 12 years ago

Try getting past the fact that Frank is gay, and actually listen to what he has to say (on any topic, not just poker). He is one of the most intelligent people in Washington. He has a real sense of how things should work, and what will benefit the most people.