|A proposed Congressional Bill designed to reform online gambling in the United States could be in danger of becoming reality due to supplementary legislation that promises a billion-dollar bonus for affordable housing.|
Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank introduced HB-2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, in April and Congressional hearings on the feasibility of the Bill were held in June.
It seeks to reverse the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that Congress passed in October to ban Internet gambling in the United States by prohibiting American banks and credit card companies from processing payments to and from online gambling sites.
Frank’s Bill would create a framework for the Government to legalize, license, regulate and tax Internet gambling while also installing safeguards to prevent underage and compulsive gambling as well as money laundering and fraud.
Frank, a member of the US House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has recently been an advocate for stopping home foreclosures, which are at an all-time high in America, and a clause recently added to his planned legislation would see one billion dollars placed into a fund to build affordable housing.
The money would be partially funded by profits from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and would go directly to local communities in order to construct 1.5 million homes over the next decade. These bodies are Government-sponsored but privately-owned enterprises endorsed by the Government to authorize loans and loan guarantees.
Hearings on the proposed legislation are scheduled to begin on July 12 with many Republicans in Congress stating that they will vote down the proposal. Although Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the lawmaking body, a situation that was not the case when UIGEA was passed, this additional legislation has angered many in Frank’s own party and made the prospect of the Bill passing increasingly doubtful.