|In America, Barney Frank has received thousands of dollars from the gambling industry and become a cult hero for poker players and the online gaming industry due to his staunch opposition to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).|
According to The Boston Globe newspaper, the Massachusetts Democrat has received $48,300 from poker interests since January of last year, amounting to around seven percent of his total re-election fund, and is increasingly cited by online gamblers as their standard-bearer.
'A deity might be a good word to use,' said Dan Cypra, Media Relations Director for PokerSourceOnline.com.
The newspaper reported that recent donors to Frank’s re-election campaign have included a pit boss at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas alongside professional player Chris Moneymaker. In October, ten of America’s top poker pros including Annie Duke, Howard Lederer and Andy Bloch held a fundraiser at Frank’s Washington home.
Frank, who will be running for his 14th term in the US House of Representatives for Massachusetts’ Fourth District in November, also favors casino development in the state. He is reported to have reread John Stuart Mill's On Liberty before filing his legislation blocking UIGEA, HR 5767, and said that people should be allowed to gamble in the privacy of their own homes.
'If it affects me, mind your own business,' said Frank.
'If affects others, let the Government get involved.'
Frank’s popularity has even seen him strike alliances with former adversaries such as Alfonse D’Amato, Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance lobby group.
'He's a powerful, well-respected member of the Congress,' said D'Amato, a conservative Republican from New York who was a US Senator from 1981 to 1999.
'That is important. He has been able to get members to look at this issue. No one has been able to do that.'