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A Sneak Peak at Barney Frank's Proposed Online Gambling Law

7 May, 2009,  Milton Shaw, Staff writer

After months promising new online gambling legislation, Barney Frank finally revealed his new law yesterday, and fielded questions regarding the bill at  news conference.

Frank reiterated his motivation for drafting the Bill.  "The government should not interfere with people's liberty unless there is a good reason," 

"This is, I believe, the single biggest example of an intrusion into the principle that people should be free to do things on the Internet. It's clearly the case that gambling is an activity that can be done offline but not online."

Taxes raised from licensed online gambling operators could also generate an additional $50 billion annually for the US Treasury, according to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Frank, who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he was yet to speak with either President Obama or House and Senate leaders, but was aiming to push the bill through his committee before Congress breaks in August.

Some key provisions of the proposed new legislation include:

  • a licensing regime will be put in place allowing Treasury to award and revoke licenses to applicants;

  • applicants will need to satisfy strict probity and background checks in order to secure a license, including financial position, corporate structure and gaming experience;

  • applicants will need to satisfy strict standards of underage gambling controls and also the ability to restrict residents of states seeking to ban online gambling;

  • a prohibition on sports betting will continue, to satisfy concerns of pro sporting leagues and their powerful lobby groups;

  • requirements for banks and payment processing firms to identify and restrict payments to net gambling operators will be lifted.



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