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Lobbying effort for Frank bill grows

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, May 8, 2007.

    May 8, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    UK COMPANIES HIRE US LOBBYISTS FOR ONLINE GAMBLING GRASS ROOTS CAMPAIGN

    Educating legislators and the public alike on safe and secure Internet gambling

    The efforts of Congressman Barney Frank and other US politicians to introduce legalised and regulated online gambling to the United States (see previous InfoPowa reports) will receive a further boost this week by the news that two U.K.-based companies are planning a grassroots campaign in favour of legislation to regulate the multi-billion-dollar industry.

    The Washington publication "The Hill" reports that the UC Group, a payment-services company with effective technology to verify the age and geographic location of gamblers, has teamed up with international accounting firm Baker Tilly to launch the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative in America.

    The companies, which already work to provide back-office and payments services to Internet businesses in a range of sectors, have hired lobbying firm Alston & Bird LLP to push the Frank legislation, introduced last month. Alston & Bird has contracted another lobbying firm, Downey McGrath Group, to aid in the effort.

    The [Safe and Secure Internet Gambling] Initiative is both to educate parts of the public as well as to garner grassroots support from other companies, organizations and individuals for the legislation, the initiatives spokesman, Jeff Sandman of Hyde Park Communications, said.

    Congressman Frank, who is the chairman of the influential House Financial Services Committee has proposed that a system of licensing and regulation be introduced, overseen by a unit of the U.S. Treasury, which would be required to guard against underage and compulsive gambling as well as money laundering. Individual states, professional sports leagues and college athletics organisations have the option of staying out of the regulatory regime in a move seen as necessary to ease the passage of the bill.

    In addition to systems that pinpoint the age and location of bettors, the UC Group has technology to detect compulsive gambling and money laundering, making it well suited to flourish under the regulatory scheme proposed by Frank. The company currently sells such systems to a number of clients around the world, Sandman said.

    The law on online gambling remains murky. A handful of states have banned online betting in any form. In 2002, a federal appeals court ruled that it is illegal to transmit information for sports betting across state lines, but affirmed that federal law does not prohibit placing online bets on games of chance. Meanwhile, lower courts have ruled that it is illegal to own a sports-betting operation that caters to U.S. citizens.

    Last fall, Congress passed a law barring the use of credit cards for online bets but exempted horse racing, state lotteries and fantasy sports.

    UC Group has been lobbying Congress on Internet gambling since the spring of 2005, filings show. Last year, the company submitted testimony to a House subcommittee on the issue. According to Sandman, it was among several companies that met with Frank and other members of Congress to discuss the various safeguards that could be implemented under regulated online gambling.

    A leading international accountancy, Baker Tilly hired Alston & Bird to lobby on the issue in February. The firm has about 7 000 U.K. clients and boasts more than $2 billion in revenues.

    Consumers will be among the primary beneficiaries of regulated online gambling, Sandman argues. They will have systems
    to make sure that their financial transactions are being processed safely and securely, he said.

    UC Group and Baker Tilly envision a comprehensive grassroots effort in support of the Frank regulatory regime, and the companies have set up a website at You must register/login in order to see the link. .

    The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative is a company-led effort in favour of a controversial pastime. That would be a novel use of grassroots tactics, according to Jeffrey Oldham, a senior vice president at Direct Impact, a consultancy that specialises in grassroots mobilization.

    This is the first time Ive heard of grassroots being used for a non-traditional issue, he said. I think it will be interesting to see whether members of Congress will listen.

    Congressman Frank has repeatedly said that public support for his initiative - specifically by US citizens communicating with political representatives on the issue - is a critical element in his strategy.
     
    4 people like this.
  2. May 8, 2007
  3. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Occupation:
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    Very positive!!!! :)
     
  4. Jul 1, 2007
  5. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Update

    MORE SPONSORS FOR FRANK BILL

    25 politicians now on board for regulating online gambling in the USA

    There's still a long political haul ahead, but Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and author of Bill HR 2046 which seeks to license and regulate online gambling in the United States, is using his considerable experience and legislative clout to continue building support for his proposal.

    Towards the end of June Congressional representative Don Young of Alaska gave his support, followed by James McGovern from Massachusetts' 3rd District, and Alcee L. Hastings from Florida's 23rd District

    So far the following politicians have signed up to support the Frank bill, which calls for online gambling in the United States to be taxed and regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

    Alcee L. Hastings
    Don Young
    Gary L. Ackerman
    Howard L. Berman
    James McGovern
    Julia Carson
    Joseph Crowley
    Bob Filner
    Luis V. Gutierrez
    Peter T. King
    Jim McDermott
    James McGovern
    Charlie Melancon
    Ed Perlmutter
    Linda T Sanchez
    Melvin L. Watt
    Shelly Berkley
    Michael Capuano
    Wm. Lacy Clay
    Steve Israel
    Carolyn McCarthy
    Ron Paul [TX-14]
    Ciro D. Rodriguez
    Edolphus Towns
    Robert Wexler

    Frank's aides have repeatedly said that interested parties calling their political representatives with expressions of support for the Frank bill were having a positive effect in encouraging politicians to re-examine the implications of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the alternatives which HR 2046 presents.

    Increasing disquiet at the number of countries at odds with the United States's online gambling related policies and tactics at the World Trade Organisation make this an opportune time for US voters to press their political representatives to oppose the UIGEA. So far, the 27 nation European Union, Japan, Canada, China, China Taipei, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Antigua and Barbuda, which started this action almost four years ago, have applied pressure to the USA (see previous InfoPowa reports).
     
    6 people like this.
  6. Jul 1, 2007
  7. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

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    5 people like this.
  8. Jul 1, 2007
  9. GGW Laurie

    GGW Laurie Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Self Employed
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    In the Beautiful South !!
    ive contacted all my reps

    i urge every other american to do the same on this forum:) let your voices and votes be heard:thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Jul 2, 2007
  11. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

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    From the You must register/login in order to see the link.

     
    2 people like this.
  12. Aug 4, 2007
  13. silcnlayc

    silcnlayc Just one more spin pleez! CAG MM PABnonaccred PABaccred

    Occupation:
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    Looks like the legislation is going to be sooner than later!

    Just read this...Internet gambling community for US legalized online gambling legislation

    Online Gambling Dispute is still a hot issue, for the United States, the WTO, Antigua and Barbuda, and it is going to intensify even more.

    In a letter to the United States Congress, meant to counter-act the lobbying Casino Gambling Web has done on behalf of the American people, Focus on the Family and other religious groups attacked the Internet gambling community, claiming all online casino operators are money launderers and/or terrorists, and/or supporters of terrorism.

    "Internet gambling... creates fertile ground for criminal activity and threatens homeland security by potentially funding terrorist activity," the letter reads.

    This idea that online gambling threatens homeland security is outrageous and slanderous, not to mention insulting to the hard working people who work at these companies, most of which are legitimate and publicly traded in their respective countries.

    More importantly, there is no proof behind these outrageous claims, they are just thoughts worked up in the vivid imaginations of the religious fundamentalists based on outdated stereotypes of shady gambling parlors run by the Mafia in the mid to early twentieth century.

    In their letter to the United States Congress the religious groups point out that millions of Americans gamble online every year. They feel this is the reason it needs to be banned, however, this is the exact reason why it is considered a prohibition. By banning Internet gambling in the United States the government has forbade an activity participated in by the masses.

    As a side note, the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's was strongly supported by the Ku Klux Klan. Would it be fair to associate the religious fundamentalists pushing for the 21st century form of prohibition with the Ku Klux Klan, as they associate all gambling entities with terrorists?

    Focus on the Family also points out in their letter to Congress that the United States is in discord with the World Trade Organization, so much so that the WTO ruled against the United States in a case brought against them by the tiny island nation of Antigua. The religious groups believe the US has the right to disobey the WTO ruling and emphasizes in their letter that the US should not back down to the WTO and continue to disregard International trade laws.

    To further point out the reasons why Internet gambling should be made and kept illegal Chad Hills, Focus on the Family's seemingly fictitious in-house gambling analyst said, "There are well over 800 commercial and tribal casinos, alongside 42 state lotteries saturating our nation's landscape."

    On their gambling information page they go on to say that, "Gambling has attained unprecedented levels of acceptance, glamorzation, and popularity in the United States. Once confined to the remote desert region of Nevada, gambling, in one form or another, is now legal in 48 of the 50 states. Utah and Hawaii remain the only exceptions."

    Ironically, that is the same point pro-Internet gambling lobbyists are giving as to why the online industry should be legalized. It is also the reason the WTO ruled against the US in the case brought upon them by Antigua.

    Antigua says... 'You say it's for moral reasons that you ban online gambling, yet you allow gambling in 48 states.'

    WTO says.. 'Yeah, that's not right, you guys can't do that.'

    US says... 'We are a superpower, we can do whatever we want to do.'

    Religious groups say... 'Right on US!'

    In conclusion, the letter Focus on the Family, who teamed up with several other religious groups to write, only reinforces all the reasons why the United States should legalize, regulate, and tax Internet gambling.

    Once again we must thank Focus on the Family for uniting the Internet gambling community and giving legalized online gambling legislation currently on the table the final push it needs to pass.
    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. Aug 8, 2007
  15. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
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    Grab your representative at home!

    GRAB YOUR POLITICIANS AT HOME!

    PPA hints on turning the Congressional recess to advantage

    Former Senator and Poker Players' Alliance chairman Alfonse D'Amato knows his way around the Washington political calendar, and this week came up with some interesting ideas to turn the autumn recess of the US Congress into an opportunity for online gamblers to let their representatives know how they feel about online gambling regulation.

    In a letter to the almost 700 000 members of the Alliance this week. D'Amato said:

    "Dear Fellow PPA Member:

    "Thanks to your efforts, we have made tremendous progress in our fight to protect the rights of poker players. More than 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have committed to clarifying federal laws to preserve your ability to play poker online. But we still need your help to get the attention of every U.S. Representative.

    "Congress is in recess for August and your Representative will be returning home to host local events and town hall meetings. These are great opportunities to tell them that poker is not a crime and to support H.R. 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act and H.R. 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act.

    "Here's how to find out when these events are happening:

    "Get the phone number of your U.S. Representative's hometown office by clicking here [a PPA information page} and entering your ZIP Code. Call to ask when and where these events are taking place in the month of August.

    "Go to one of these events and bring your fellow poker players. Tell your U.S. Representative that poker is not a crime and to co-sponsor H.R. 2046 and H.R. 2610 when they return to Washington. Let them know that you will support them if they support the rights of law-abiding poker players.

    "Thank you for being an "August Advocate" for the Poker Players Alliance."

    The chairman justifiably signs himself "Proud to Play Poker." Senator Al D'Amato

    The negative side of letters.....

    But the good Senator was not the only one sending out letters this week - the state of Utah was taking a more negative route, corresponding with online poker players in the state to remind them that they could be in violation of state laws.

    State enforcement officials obtained names and addresses of Utah online players from databases recovered from companies involved in a major $150 million bust earlier this year which led to seven citizens and four companies being charged with felonies by a grand jury in Salt Lake City.

    Companies facing charges are CurrenC Ltd., also known as CurrenC WorldWide Ltd., based in the British Virgin Islands; Gateway Technologies LLC, based in Draper, Utah; Hill Financial Services Inc., based in Draper, Utah, and Las Vegas.

    The state of Utah is one of the few in the United States that frowns upon any forms of gambling, and this extends even to state lotteries.
     
  16. Aug 9, 2007
  17. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    That's the kind of bull$hit that frightens me. Intimidation, coercion, then.... what? ... extortion? Pay us $X and tell us all you know, or we'll prosecute?

    Don't laugh... it worked for the DoJ against NETeller.

    I seriously doubt that it was only poker players that Utah is contacting. Anyone receives a letter concerning their online play, we'd love to see it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  18. Aug 9, 2007
  19. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Update

    U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BACKS ONLINE GAMBLING REGULATION

    Republican Congressman describes UIGEA as "an outrageous affront" to personal freedom

    Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has thrown his support behind Congressman Barney Frank's legislative proposal to regulate and license online gambling in the United States, according to official Congressional sources.

    Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act has been steadily gathering support and if adopted will largely neutralise the controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed last year, which prohibits financial transactions with online gambling companies except those involved with horserace betting, fantasy sports and state lotteries.

    Describing the UIGEA as an "outrageous affront to individual freedom" Congressman Paul emphasised the importance of respecting the American peoples' right to decide for themselves whether or not they gamble online.

    "I believe strongly that the Internet should not be regulated by the Federal Government and believe even more strongly that people should be free to engage in the activities they wish as long as they are willing to take responsibility for their actions," Paul has been quoted as saying.

    The Congressman, who is currently serving his tenth Congressional term represents Texas voters and hails from Lake Jackson.

    Frank's Bill HR2046 seeks to establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework to license and monitor online gambling companies. It has won the support of the 700 000 strong Poker Players' Alliance and some 35 Congressional Representatives so far, although the proposal still has a long road to travel.

    Congressman Frank and other politicians have repeatedly stressed how important it is for American voters to contact their Congressional representatives to indicate their support for the regulation of online gambling rather than its prohibition.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Aug 12, 2007
  21. sdaddy

    sdaddy Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Arizona
    Below is a typed copy of a letter I received recently from my representative regarding his position on H.R. 2046. This time I called his Washington office, rather than send an email, which didn't seem to get much attention in the past.

    Given that he was a cosponsor last year of H.R. 4777 (the Goodlatte ban bill) I'm encouraged to see that he is at least remaining open to idea of supporting Frank's bill.

     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Aug 14, 2007
  23. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Update

    STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

    The U.S. religious right and the National Football League join against Frank proposal to regulate online gambling

    It would appear that the American National Football League is seriously concerned about legislation to regulate U.S. online gambling proposed by Congressman Barney Frank, which has received growing political support.

    The Financial Times claims that the NFL has "...enlisted the support of the Christian right to help drum up opposition to Congressman Barney Franks proposed internet gambling regulation, apparently not content with the existing carve-outs for fantasy football which it already enjoys.

    The report reveals that Bill Wichterman, a top lobbyist and advisor to the former Republican majority leader Bill Frist who rammed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act through a late night session of Congress last year, is the point man in a new initiative. His objective is apparently to encourage conservative groups to co-sign a letter sent by Christian pressure group Focus on the Family to US politicians encouraging them to uphold and strengthen the widely unpopular UIGEA.

    On a more positive note, the New York Post over the weekend supported the Frank regulatory moves in an article titled "Web Gambling - tax it, don't ban it" written by Representatives Steve Israel, a Democrat, and Peter King, a Long Island Republican.

    The op-ed piece observes that the US Treasury department is charged with a number of law enforcement jobs - protecting the president, investigating counterfeit money, tracking terrorist financing and so forth, but remarks that these days, thanks to a "legislative rider passed last year", Congress has told Treasury officials to spend their time and resources going after something far more trivial - people who play cards from their home computers.

    "Frankly, federal law enforcement officials have bigger fish to fry, the article comments.

    "Years ago, the Treasurys Secret Service agents used to help President Harry Truman put poker games together in the White House. Now theyd be locking him up!
     
    2 people like this.
  24. Aug 14, 2007
  25. cynthial

    cynthial Boo

    Occupation:
    Fireproofing
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Hi Jet,
    Could you help me to understand why the NFL would give a crap about this issue. How does this affect them? :what:
    Thanks
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Aug 14, 2007
  27. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    The NFL, together with the other major sporting leagues in the USA have been consistent and active opponents of online gambling despite the fantasy sports carve-outs.

    That opposition has included combining with other bodies negative to Internet betting in calling for anti-online gambling legislation - there are several instances recorded in Casinomeister News archives of this. The NFL were among those who congratulated Congress on passing the UIGEA last year.

    Its opposition is apparently based on the principle that gambling - especially gambling that is not licensed in Nevada - is bad for sport.

    When (if?) the USA gambling industry corners the American online gambling market in a US-regulated environment, it will be interesting to see what position the NFL and others will take.
     
  28. Aug 14, 2007
  29. cynthial

    cynthial Boo

    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Thanks for your time on this Jet. I had indeed read some of the archives but what I never understood and to some degree still do not is how is it bad for sport and why even more so if not from Las Vegas? Do they feel some players may "take a fall" so to speak and affect the outcome of the games like the White Sox scandal? Sorry to be a doofus but could you find the patience to explain further for me? :oops:
     
  30. Aug 14, 2007
  31. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

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    In the NBA, the FEDS just indicted one referee and it is going to get much nastier and you must know about Gretzky's better half,Ms. Jones and Phoenix's asst. Coach Tochett(sp) so lately it has not been the players but these are mute points as they relate to online gambling. The NFL position is all for show to the public with currently a bigger show as the new commish pretends to clean up it's image behind a false facade. If you only knew how powerful NFL(RE: TV CONTRACTS) is but still neither here nor there as far as OLG........ Let's just get a less corrupt industry than it currently is as it will always have some type of corruption but should be less as hopefully there will be no need for brainwashing affiliates, the crook casinos that hide behind T&C's et al(WTF is bonus abuse?, answer 100% BS),the unaccountable with no transparency software platforms, faux & brainwashing player watchdog sites & webmasters that are nothing more than marketers, on & on...........this can all be eliminated for new corruptions in lieu of the current. FTR, I play no more online until the old are gone and the new appear...........may be a good thing when all is said and done,time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
    1 person likes this.
  32. Aug 14, 2007
  33. sdaddy

    sdaddy Meister Member

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    It's great to see members of Congress come out publicly to push for Frank's bill, but wait a minute here. Peter King was the same Homeland Security Committee chairman who sat by and let the UIGEA "rider" be attached to the must-pass Safe Port Act last year. Isn't it a little late and hypocritical for him to now criticize the UIGEA and the way it was passed?
     
  34. Aug 14, 2007
  35. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

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    Is is called Politics. I THINK:D
     
  36. Aug 14, 2007
  37. sdaddy

    sdaddy Meister Member

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    Yeah, at its finest.
     
    1 person likes this.
  38. Aug 15, 2007
  39. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

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    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    Here's a link to the full article. As for Peter King, well I'm just glad to see his apparently road to Damascus conversion from the dark side of prohibition LOL!

    Cynthia, I didn't ignore your second post above btw - I left on my daily chores after posting my answer to you and have just seen your second request for clarity.

    I don't know what the real reasons are for the implacable opposition to online gambling exhibited by US sporting leagues, and there is significant speculation on what other agendas these bodies may have.

    Spokesmen have repeatedly charged that unlicensed gambling on sports is dangerous to the integrity of those sports in general and college sport in particular, but if that were the case one would think that they would favour strict regulation over banning.

    I personally suspect that as is usually the case it's all about the money....and they aren't getting any from online gambling, which may have been a strategic error by offshore gaming companies when they were riding high and thought they were untouchable.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other views on this.
     
    1 person likes this.

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