|In America, Representative Barney Frank has publicly questioned the value of studies into online gambling after agreeing to co-sponsor Representative Shelley Berkley's bill for just such a study.|
Berkley, a Democrat from Nevada, has proposed a bill that would commission the National Academy of Sciences to carry out an independent study of online gambling in the US and currently has 64 co-sponsors, including Frank.
“What's to study?” Frank is quoted as stating recently. “Whether or not I should be able to make my own bet with my own money?'
Frank’s support would seem to be more practical than ideological and the Massachusetts Democrat remains an ally of the online gambling industry for his outspoken criticism of the highly-controversial UIGEA, which was passed last year on the back of the must-pass Safe Ports Act.
Frank is slowly building support for a bill of his own, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) 2007, which seeks to regulate online gambling in the US.
Frank is also the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and currently has only 37 co-sponsors for his bill. He has admitted support for the regulation of online gambling has stalled but said that his bill could yet receive a strong surge of support when the European Union makes its claim for damages against the US after Antigua won its appeal against Washington at the World Trade Organization (WTO).