Representatives To Hold Hearing On Internet Gambling

    December 2, 2009

On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee will discuss legislation introduced by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) that would regulate online gambling in the United States.

The hearing will begin at 10 am EST and will include testimony from leaders in the fields of online security and consumer safety. Experts will describe how current systems and technologies have been successful in blocking minors from gambling online, reducing compulsive gambling and protecting consumers against money laundering, fraud and identity theft.

"This hearing will provide further evidence on the ability to effectively regulate Internet gambling and require licensed operators to utilize already-proven technologies to protect consumers," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson of the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative

"It’s expected this hearing will answer any outstanding questions and pave the way for a vote in the committee on Chairman Frank’s legislation."

The hearing follows the recent announcement by the Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury to extend the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) by six months to June 1,2010.
The delay, Chairman Frank said " will give us a chance to act in an unhurried manner on my legislation to undo this regulatory excess by the Bush administration and to undo this ill-advised law."

"Coupled with last week’s decision by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve to delay UIGEA implementation, this hearing further builds the case for Congress to rewrite U.S. gambling laws," said Waxman. 

"It’s simply common sense to override UIGEA, a poorly conceived law that is doomed to fail, and replace it with a framework that regulates a thriving underground marketplace to protect consumers and collect billions in otherwise lost revenue."

The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement ACT would establish a framework to allow licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from people in the U.S. In addition to consumer protections, the legislation would give each state the right to decide if they wanted to allow online gambling within their borders.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that up to $42 billion would be generated over 10 years with the legalization of online gambling.

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