In America, Congressman Barney Frank will introduce legislation over the next few weeks to establish a licensing and regulatory framework for online gambling operators.
According to a piece in The Financial Times, the Massachusetts Democrat is set to launch an offensive to roll back the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 now that his party is the majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate. He told the newspaper that the climate is now ripe for Congress to unlock restraints that were ‘impinging’ on the freedom of Americans.
Frank serves as the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and stated that he also expected measures that enforce UIGEA, which were rushed through during the dying days of the Bush Administration, to be included among measures Congress would look to rescind.
He also declared that the Department of Justice should stop arrresting and prosecuting executives of online gambling firms now that a more liberal political climate pervades following November’s election of Barack Obama.
'I expect an Obama Department of Justice to be less zealous about locking people up,” Frank told the newspaper.
“These outrageous arrests in transit, they should be stopping that stuff.'
UIGEA makes it illegal for financial institutions to process online gambling transactions and became final on January 19. However, the rules enforcing the legislation are not scheduled for implementation until December, by which time they could have been significantly changed or even done away with.
Frank stated that the prospects for any new pro-online gambling legislation were greater at this time owing to the public’s increased support for the right to gamble using the Internet.