Frank Testimony Before the Ways and Means Committee on Internet Gambling

Mousey

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My apologies. There is no link for this as this is the entire text of an email I received today from FSDWebUpdate.... Have had no time to do further research on it...


For Immediate Release:

May 19, 2010



Frank Testimony Before the Ways and Means Committee on Internet Gambling





Washington, DC – Today, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) testified before the Ways and Means Committee during a hearing on tax proposals related to Chairman Frank’s legislation to license and regulate Internet gambling activities. The following is Chairman Frank’s testimony as prepared for delivery:



Chairman Levin, Ranking Member Camp, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, creates a legal framework for licensing and regulating online gambling and is designed to work in tandem with Mr. McDermott’s bill, the subject of today’s hearing.



In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was enacted, which restricted the use of the payments system for Americans who sought to gamble online. I believe that it is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans, and should be undone.



H.R. 2267, is designed to protect consumers without restricting their freedom. I have always believed that it is a mistake to tell adults what to do with their own money. Some adults will spend their money foolishly, but it is not the purpose of the Federal Government to prevent them legally from doing it. We should ensure that they have appropriate consumer protections and information, but otherwise allow people to pursue activities that they enjoy which do not harm others. As John Stuart Mill said in his essay, On Liberty in 1869:



“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”



I am encouraged to have the strong support of my lead Republican cosponsor on this legislation, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.



I have also been very pleased to have strong support for this legislation from the Ranking Republican and former Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, whose concern for public policies that protect us against terrorism is well known to many of us. His support for this bill is very important.



American consumers who wish to gamble online are currently without safeguards against fraud, identity theft, underage and problem gambling and money laundering. Some operators adhere to rigorous regulatory regimes in foreign jurisdictions, but U.S. customers have no local recourse if they have a problem.



And, more to the point for today’s hearing, billions of dollars in taxes – both under existing law and those that would be established under Mr. McDermott’s bill – remain uncollected. Enacting these bills would bring this industry out of the shadows, benefit consumers and ensure that all of the revenue does not continue to exclusively benefit offshore operators.



SUMMARY OF H.R. 2267



• H. R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses authorizing them to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the U.S., on the condition that they maintain effective protections against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering and fraud, and enforce prohibitions or restrictions on types of gambling prohibited by states, and Indian Tribes.





• This bill would provide the Department of the Treasury with the exclusive authority to establish regulations and license Internet gambling operators. License applicants would be:



• Subject to review of their financial condition and corporate structure, business experience, suitability, and criminal background checks, and agree to be subject to U.S. jurisdiction



• Prohibited from accepting any type of bet or wager that is initiated or terminated in a state or tribal land that prohibits that type of Internet gambling, or any sports gambling or wager.



• This bill would provide Treasury the authority to revoke or terminate the license of any operator who fails to comply with the bill’s provisions. Violators could be fined or imprisoned for up to five years, or both.



• Any Internet gambling operator receiving a license would be required to have the appropriate safeguards in place to:



• Ensure an individual placing a bet or wager is of legal age as defined by the law of the State or tribal area in which the individual is located at the time the bet or wager is placed



• Ensure an individual placing a bet or wager is physically located in a jurisdiction that permits Internet gambling at the time a bet or wager is placed.



• Protect the privacy and security of individuals engaged in internet gambling



• Combat fraud and money laundering as prescribed by regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury or designee



• Combat compulsive internet gambling
 

Simmo!

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CasinoCity did a running commentary on it as it happened yesterday. Thought it was fascinating myself and I found the fact that a number of people involved seemed to have quite open minds almost refreshing. Struck me as a political debate done how it should be done without too many people getting bogged down in the usual issues.
 

Luckylizzy

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It's always good to see these issues being discussed and it's just one more step in the right direction. The meeting went extremely well and I was pleased to hear that they removed the part about fining players for playing on unlicensed sites and instead punishing the sites if they dont get licensed in the US. I'm definitely optimistic about the future of regulation in the industry.
 

RedAndi

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Prohibited from accepting any type of bet or wager that is initiated or terminated in a state or tribal land that prohibits that type of Internet gambling, or any sports gambling or wager.

Ensure an individual placing a bet or wager is physically located in a jurisdiction that permits Internet gambling at the time a bet or wager is placed.



Ok if I read that right SOME states will be OK and some won't?
I am in Michigan, which is kinda sorta on the "illegal" list (if you go to the website its not real defined, which I assume is their intention). But I know a lot of places block certain states.
:( Starting to think no matter what bills get passed or don't my state is F'd.

If I read it wrong or am not understanding the wording and there is hope feel free to correct me:D
 
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jetset

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Congressman Frank had to tread a careful path whilst crafting his proposal, in order to avoid as much opposition to it as possible.

That meant that he had to exclude sports betting, and he had to maintain the autonomy of tribal gaming and its compacts, and even more importantly states' rights to make their own laws.
 

lots0

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It seems to me that the timing of Frank's Testimony is because "every attempt" (according to my Congressman) is being made to make H.R. 2267 part of the Financial Reform Bill that just passed the Senate and is headed for Conference (where amendments and new bills are added and tweaked, Conference was where the UGIEA was 'inserted' into the Safe Ports Act).

According to the talking heads, the Financial Reform Bill should be on the Presidents desk for his signature the first week of July.

If this is the case and H.R. 2267 is included into the Financial Reform Bill, the UGIEA will die once and for all the day Obama's FRB is signed into law.

Lets hope that whatever comes is not worse than the UGIEA.
 

P.V.

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Mr. Franks

Lotso, I think you're talking about the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 bill that just passed correct? If so then yes it would be great if the House added Mr. Franks bill as he's clearly on the right track somewhat. I see a few minor flaws that I'm going to e-mail or send him a letter about.
 

jetset

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At the Ways and Means hearing this week Congressman Frank said he planned to send HR 2267 to markup in July.
 

lots0

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Lotso, I think you're talking about the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 bill that just passed correct? If so then yes it would be great if the House added Mr. Franks bill as he's clearly on the right track somewhat. I see a few minor flaws that I'm going to e-mail or send him a letter about.
Correct.

I would also like to point out that one of the biggest enemies of online casino regulation in the US, Senator John Kyle from AZ, will have no say whatsoever in what happens in Conference. The Republicans lost their ability to influence the Bill after they lost the cloture vote... and that is great news, as far as I am concerned.

all4greed said:
Very interesting. Unfortunately, I doubt it will change a thing for the banned states...
Course not. But at least folks have a better chance of changing State laws as opposed to Federal laws. Most the states that have made online gambling specifically illegal have done so at the bequest of the Federal Government (or local Native Tribes that control brick and mortar casinos)... Once the Feds are out of it, it will be a piece of cake to convince State legislatures to legalize and regulate once they see ALL THAT MONEY they will collect in taxes.
 

lots0

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A related article in The Hill

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Note that Goodlatte and Bachus are spewing their usual nonsense.

Good link Mousey! I missed that article somehow.

Goodlatte, Bachus and Klye can spout all the crap they want, about how they are going to stop regulation and consumer protection of online gambling, but the fact is, like I said before, they lost their ability to directly influence the Bill when they lost the Senate Cloture Vote on Financial Reform.

I also think that a lot of prominent folks in Washington are starting to see these guys cries of "save the stupid from gambling" for what they really are... Cries of, "I must protect the companies that give me money!!".
 

jetset

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A related article in The Hill

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Note that Goodlatte and Bachus are spewing their usual nonsense.

Useful and interesting article, Mousey - the emotional and subjective arguments stirred up by "the other side" are now getting a little repetitive and threadbare...they don't get anywhere near the soundbyte style coverage the media afforded them before imo.

On the other hand the protagonists for legalisation are balancing subjective opinions on players' rights with hard factual information.
 

BingoT

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Just to add a few articles I saw




High Stakes Showdown: Internet Gambling Debate Rages on Capitol Hill

With New Law Aimed at Crippling Online Betting Set to Take Effect June 1, Democrats Push for Legalization; GOP Calls Their Bluff

With just two weeks to go before a federal law aimed at quashing Internet gambling takes effect, a handful of House Democrats , including Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, are going all in, pushing for the legalization of some of the most popular forms of online gambling. The lobbying is intense, and the stakes are high – by some estimates the Internet gaming industry generates as much as $6 billion a year in profits – and no one on either side of the debate appears ready to fold.
Connecticut's economy is struggling and casinos are doing little to help.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with ABCNews.com on Tuesday, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, said he would do everything in his power to stop the legalization of Internet gambling, specifically singling out online poker.

"Internet gambling is the crack cocaine of gambling," Bachus told ABCNews.com. "Young people are particularly vulnerable – we don't want to put a casino in every dorm room in the country. Compulsive gambling, by many accounts, is a very serious, growing problem."

By RICH BLAKE
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
U.S. lawmakers consider Internet gambling bills

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Internet gambling should be legalized and taxed in the United States to raise $42 billion in revenue over a decade and legitimize gamers who bet online, backers argued before a congressional panel on Wednesday.

"We are talking about a decision by adults to do what they want to do with their own money," said Democrat Representative Barney Frank, who sponsors a bill to legalize online gaming, citing John Stuart Mill's essay "On Liberty" to make his point.

By Kim Dixon
Reuters
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lots0

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On the bright side of all this...

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) the Senate Minorty leader has shifted his position... Right along with the Horse Racing Indrustry's position on online gambling.

"Funny" how these Senators positions change right along with their largest contrubutors positions... Reminds me of a whore... these politicos will go along with anything for money.
 

MissB

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CasinoCity did a running commentary on it as it happened yesterday. Thought it was fascinating myself and I found the fact that a number of people involved seemed to have quite open minds almost refreshing. Struck me as a political debate done how it should be done without too many people getting bogged down in the usual issues.


I agree, most from the committee seemed very open-minded. It's only a matter of time before gambling is legalized ion the US.
 

Pepmintpatty

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Good link Mousey! I missed that article somehow.

Goodlatte, Bachus and Klye can spout all the crap they want, about how they are going to stop regulation and consumer protection of online gambling, but the fact is, like I said before, they lost their ability to directly influence the Bill when they lost the Senate Cloture Vote on Financial Reform.

I also think that a lot of prominent folks in Washington are starting to see these guys cries of "save the stupid from gambling" for what they really are... Cries of, "I must protect the companies that give me money!!".

Thanks so much Mousey! You do great research!:thumbsup:
 
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