Pro-Online Gambling Bill

Democratic Representative Barney Frank is the head of the House Committee on Financial Services and this is the committee that is responsible for making some headway into repealing the 2006 ban on online gambling that was passed back when the Republicans were still in power. This ban was one of the most unpopular things they ever did and Frank’s attempts to repeal the bill have been very popular not just amongst online gambling lobbyists, but also amongst the general public many of whom actually do play online poker and do other online gambling activities.

The original bill known as the Payments Systems Protection Act was blocked by Republicans on the committee, preventing Frank from moving through on his goal and forcing him to create a new version of the PSPA that passed by a margin of 30-19 in the committee when it was voted upon.

According to Frank, this particular piece of legislation did not prove to be everything he wanted. He still has a stated goal of wanting to repeal the UIGEA and with the support he has from the public on that particular issue, it is probably something that could be on the chopping block before the next President assumes office.

The new PSPA is not something that cuts to the heart of the UIGEA in the direct sense, but it does a very good job of coming at it from the flank and causing the UIGEA some serious problems in the long run. For example, the PSPA requires agencies of the federal government to create very clear definitions of what constitutes an illegal online gambling activity. In other words, the UIGEA did not define exactly what unlawful internet gambling was and for that reason the PSPA forces that definition on the regulatory agencies before any of the measures stipulated in the UIGEA can be utilized.

The bill will not only require federal agencies to create a clear distinction between what constitutes a legal online gambling activity and an illegal online gambling activity, but it will also force them into providing examples of illegal online gamblingactivities. These examples will then be combined with the new definitions in order to figure out which online gambling activities are off limits in the United States, allowing lawmakers to legislate against those gambling activities rather than against financial institutions.

With this type of specific wording in place, the blanket authority given to the federal government by the UIGEA has been rescinded. The UIGEA allowed federal officials to go after payment processors, credit card companies and financial institutions for funding online gambling websites. This of course led to many infamous raids such as the one on NETeller’s head office in the United States and it in turn led to the marginalization for a period of time of all dissenting voices. That period of time is over however and many former online gamblers in the US are looking forward to returning to one of their favorite activities.