Bill To Legalize Online Gambling Unveiled

    May 11, 2009

Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would allow Americans to bet online and end a 3-year-old ban on Internet gambling.

The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act would create a federal regulatory and enforcement framework allowing Internet gambling operators to obtain licenses to accept wages from people in the United States.

Alfonse D’Amato
Alfonse D’Amato

The legislation is in response to the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which restricted the use of the payments system for Americans who gamble online.

Frank’s bill received criticism from a senior Republican lawmaker opposed to gambling. "Illegal off-shore Internet gambling sites are a criminal enterprise," said Representative Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the financial services committee. "Allowing them to operate unfettered in the United States would present a clear danger to our youth, who are subject to becoming addicted to gambling at an early age," said Bachus from Alabama.

The Poker Players Alliance, a poker grassroots advocacy group applauded the proposed legislation.

"Online poker is a legal, thriving industry and poker players deserve the consumer protections and the freedom to play that are provided for in this legislation," PPA Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato said.

"We are grateful for Chairman Frank’s leadership and will be activating our grassroots army made up of over one million members to help him drive legislation."