|In America, proposed legislation that would have eliminated the regulations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 was defeated in the House Financial Services Committee last week.|
Introduced by Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul in April, HR 5767 would have prohibited the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve System from proposing, prescribing or implementing any regulations related to the current ban on online gambling as required under UIGEA. Also known as the Payment Systems Protection Act, HR 5767 was written following testimony before the Committee’s Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology where UIGEA’s guidelines were heard to be unworkable and vague.
The measure failed after Republican Congressman Peter King from New York introduced a proposed amendment that ended in a tie vote of 32 to 32 largely along party lines. This meant the measure could not move forward to a full vote before the House of Representatives with a subsequent oral vote also failing to break the deadlock.
According to John Pappas, Executive Director for the Poker Players Alliance, the argument from the Republican side focused on protecting children and teenagers from exposure to gambling.
'As our opponents continued to debate this issue in the Committee, they never really spoke about the merits of the UIGEA or enforcing it,” said Pappas.
“Instead, it was all about the perceived societal ills associated with gambling.
“The debate moved squarely away from the UIGEA regulations and into a moral discussion. As you can see, the vote went 32 to 32 and because of that tie, it was defeated. I think we have a number of Republicans that are eager to support us but over the past couple of days these emotional arguments have won out.'