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New Online Gambling Bill has Bipartisan Support

17 April, 2009,  Rita Malhotra, Staff writer

It seems Frank Barney isn't fighting a lone battle in trying to get the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) repealed.

It was reported recently that any legislation introduced by Barney to Congress would face a tough passage amidst luke warm support and pre-occupation with other priorities.  It was written recently in The Hill, that social conservatives would fight hard against the bill, and it is likely that is would become bogged down in party politics.

Not so says former New York Senator Alphonse D'Amato.  D'Amato, opined in an open letter that a bill repealing UIGEA and introducing regulatory measures for online casino gambling would receive bipartisan support from both conservatives and liberals.

D'Amato, himself a Republican believes it will receive strong support from within Republican ranks who want to improve protection measures for children and problem gamblers.  UIGEA has been proved to be ineffective and unenforceable and a workable solution is seen as important.

D'Amato is chairman of the Poker Player's Alliance and one of the few Republicans who has actively pushed for regulation of online gambling rather than prohibition.  But his views are starting to gain traction within Republican ranks.  Fellow republicans Dick Armey and Pete Sessions have joined the call for UIGEA to be replaced with a workable regulatory framework.

According to D'Amato, UIGEA actually contradicts Republican ideals of internet freedom, small government and individuals being responsible for their own actions.  An approach more consistent with Republican ideals would be to offer licenses, tax operators and allow the market to dictate who played where.



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