Pro I/Gaming speech by Rep. Barney Frank


Dormant account
Mar 31, 2006
The speech below, by veteran U.S.Congressman Barney Frank, Democratic Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. This speech was addressed to the United States House of Representitives. On July 11, 2006. It was copied and pasted from Rep. Frank's official website.


U.S. House of Representatives

July 11, 2006

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I strongly disagree with the gentleman from Iowa with whom I often agree. I don't disagree with him entirely. I will stipulate that there is nothing in the Bhagavad Gita about gambling. But other than that, I don't think he got much right.

He says that gambling on the Internet does not add to the GDP or make America competitive. Has it become the role of this Congress to prohibit any activity that an adult wants to engage in voluntarily if it doesn't add to the GDP or make us more competitive?

What kind of socio-, cultural authoritarianism are we advocating here?

Now, I agree there is a practice around today that causes a lot of problems, damages families, people lose their jobs, they get in debt. They do it to excess. It is called drinking. Are we going to go back to Prohibition? Prohibition didn't work for alcohol; it doesn't work for gambling.

When people abuse a particular practice, the sensible thing is to try to deal with the abuse, not outlaw it.

By the way, this bill allows certain kinds of Internet gambling to stay, so apparently the notion is that those few people who are obsessive and addicted will not take advantage of those forms which are still available to them.

But the fundamental point is this. If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn't add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit. Are we all to take home calculators and, until we have satisfied the gentleman from Iowa that we are being socially useful, we abstain from recreational activities that we choose?

This Congress is well on the way to getting it absolutely backwards. In areas where we need to act together to protect the quality of our life, in the environment, in transportation, in public safety, we abstain; but in those areas where individuals ought to be allowed to make their own choices, we intervene. And that is what this is.

Now, people have said, well, some students abuse it. We should work to try to diminish abuse. But if we were to outlaw for adults everything that college students abuse, we would all just sit home and do nothing.

By the way, credit card abuse among students is a more serious problem, I believe, than gambling. Maybe gambling will catch up. But we have heard many, many stories about young people who have credit cards that they abuse. Do we ban credit cards for them?

But here is the fundamental issue. Shouldn't it be the principle in this government that the burden of proof is on those who want to prohibit adults from their own free choices to show that they are harming other people?

We ought to say that, if you decide with your own money to engage in an activity that harms no one else, you ought to be allowed to do it. And once you say, oh, no, but that doesn't add to the GDP, and that can lead to some problems in families, then this is hardly the only thing you will end up banning.

The fundamental principle of the autonomy of the individual is at stake today.

Now, I have to say, I understand a lot of the conservatives don't like it because there are people on the religious side who don't like it. Some of my liberal friends, I think, are being very inconsistent. We are for allowing a lot of things. I mean, many of us vote to say, You can burn the flag; I wish you wouldn't, but you can. It shouldn't be a crime.

You can look at certain things on television that maybe other people think you shouldn't. You can do other things but you can't gamble. There is a fundamental inconsistency there.

I guess people think gambling is tacky. They don't like it. Well, fine, then don't do it. But don't prohibit other individuals from engaging in it.

People have said, What is the value of gambling? Here is the value. Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn't that be our principle? If individuals like doing something and they harm no one, we will allow them to do it, even if other people disapprove of what they do.

And it is, of course, likely to be ineffective. The best thing that ever happens to illegal gamblers is when you do a measure like this.

I hope the bill is defeated.

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You Tube Video of Rep. Frank's speech :
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You Tube Video of Libertarian vs. Congress: Don't regulate the Internet :
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Although Rep. Franks states he will not respond to emails unless they are addressed from his constituents, the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts, you can still email him below, and show your support.

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Or send a letter with a campaign contribution to:

Washington Address:

Congressman Barney Frank
2252 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515-2104
(202) 225-5931

District Addresses:

29 Crafts Street
Newton, MA 02458
(617) 332-3920

558 Pleasant Street
Room 309
New Bedford, MA 02740
(508) 999-6462

The Jones Building
29 Broadway
Suite 310
Taunton, MA 02780
(508) 822-4796


Come on Casinomeister members, Rep. Barney Frank is Chairman of a very powerful Committee in Washington. And has shown in this speech that he is sympathetic to our situation. Step up and donate to Rep. Frank's reelection campaign.
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Poker Players For Online Regulation

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Poker Players:

These people are speaking up for us- lets speak up for them. Lets make our voice heard clearly.
Even if you can not give much, you can take just 30 seconds to donate $1 and make the # of donors increase by one.

Shelley Berkley

You remember her impassioned speech on the floor the night they strong-armed the UIGEA through Congress. Well she didnt give up that night. Representative Berkley has recently proposed legislation which would study the prospect of legal, regulated online poker. Her bill was shelved when Republicans had control however, and she needs our help now.

Barney Frank

Barney Frank will become chairman of the Financial Services Committee when Democrats take control in 2007.
Watch his speech on the UIGEA below:
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So far 13 people have donated a grand total of $213.00......ouch.
Update on UIGEA repeal


Senior US politician plans on launching repeal activities within next two weeks

Achieving wide coverage across the news wire services and numerous international publications today (Thursday) are comments by U.S. Congressman Barney Frank on his intention within the next two weeks to seek the repeal of the U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Pushed through Congress late last year in an evening sitting just before a Congressional adjournament for electioneering, and attached to an unrelated but "must pass" Bill, the UIGEA has proved universally unpopular with American players, whom it forbids to conduct financial transactions with online gambling companies. The Act has caused widespread disruption in the U.S. market and been responsible for substantial investor and corporate losses on the London stock exchange.

Speaking from Belgium whilst on an overseas visit, Frank said he would commence activities lift the U.S. ban in the next two weeks, but emphasised that it was too early to make any substantial moves to lift US online gambling restrictions ruled illegal last month by the World Trade Organisation in the dispute between Antigua and the USA over discriminatory provisions in US anti online gambling law.

Congressman Frank, a senior Democrat who chairs a key Congressional committee that oversees financial services, told reporters that the online gambling bill passed last fall was "one of the stupidest things I ever saw."

"I want to get it undone. I plan to file legislation," Barney said, explaining that he would lay out his plans in the next couple of weeks but would not move them forward until other lawmakers are on board.

"I think a reconsideration among my colleagues is beginning," he said. "It's not far enough along yet so I wouldn't move the bill but I plan to introduce the bill and if the storm of public unhappiness is great enough, I will try to substantially revise that ban."

Frank's House Financial Services Committee alone could not do more than lift a ban on using credit cards to pay for Internet gambling, he said.

The American financial restrictions irked European Union member states which were home to online gambling firms forced to withdraw from the United States. The bloc's internal market chief Charlie McCreevy has hinted he may challenge the ban at the World Trade Organisation.

Last month the WTO said the ban violated international trade law as it still allowed online bets for horse racing.

Frank, who held talks with McCreevy during his visit to Europe, said the bill will be introduced or registered within a couple of weeks to test the level of support.

Poker players were lobbying for an exemption from the ban just for their game but Frank was "unpersuaded."

"I am not going to draw a distinction between poker and blackjack," Frank said.
Forgive me, but I think this NEEDS to be repeated, in bold....

"...I plan to introduce the bill and if the storm of public unhappiness is great enough, I will try to substantially revise that ban."

Webmasters this is a call to action if I ever heard it!

I know a few of us get hundreds of thousands of sets of eyeballs everyday.
We can make a difference and help start a real STORM, if we back this effort up with some support.
Never truer words, Lotso - this really is the time for everyone involved with online gambling to create enough noise to get the attention of the politicians, and portalmasters, operators and industry associations can help by making it easier for the player community's voice to be heard.

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