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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

House Committee Members Call for Support of Anti-UIGEA Bill

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Two weeks after Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced H.R. 5767 to Congress, several other members of the House Committee on Financial Services – Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) – joined them in calling for its support. Many of them feel that the difficulties inherent in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) are too great and will linger for too long if Congress does not act promptly.

Frank and Paul wrote and submitted H.R. 5767 to prohibit the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve System from proposing, prescribing, or implementing any regulations required by the UIGEA. After an April 2nd Congressional hearing in which the majority of the testimony pointed to the fact that financial institutions will be unable to enforce the UIGEA, the two Congressmen quickly introduced a bill that would nullify the enforcement of it.

First, Representatives Frank, Paul, Gutierrez and King addressed a letter to the Department of the Treasury’s Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Taking into consideration that those departments admitted to confusion about enforcement and burdens thereof resulting from the ambiguity inherent in the UIGEA, the letter stressed, “Given the many other priorities that are pending at your agencies… we believe it would be imprudent for you to devote additional agency resources to this Sisyphean task.”

In their efforts to seek support from fellow members of Congress, the four committee members sent a letter to them. In part, it read: “Representatives from the regulatory agencies themselves admitted that there are substantial problems in crafting regulations to implement the UIGEA in a manner that does not have a substantial adverse effect on the efficiency of the nation’s payment system.”

One of the organizations supporting the efforts of Frank, Paul, Gutierrez, and Paulson is the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. The organization’s spokesman, Jeffrey Sandman, commented, “These bi-partisan congressional leaders understand that the proposed regulations can’t work. Their legislation would relieve U.S. financial service companies from the burden of policing the internet and implementing a ban on Internet gambling that is doomed to fail. U.S. financial services companies should be focusing their undivided attention on the economy, not trying to stop people from exercising their freedom to use the internet to play poker, bet on horses, or engage in other types of gambling activities.

The support of the American public is critical to the success of the efforts of Congressmen like Barney Frank and Ron Paul in their hopes of rendering the UIGEA ineffective and subsequently pushing legislation that would legalize and regulate internet gaming. It is time to let them know that you appreciate and support their efforts, and it is urgent that you tell your own representatives in Washington D.C. that you expect them to support these types of legislation on your behalf.

Visit the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative at or the Poker Players Alliance at for more information. Both sites enable visitors to easily send a message to members of Congress.

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