Congressman Frank Feels Support Against Online Gambling Ban Growing
20 April 2007
Las Vegas Review-Journal
By TONY BATT Apr. 19, 2007
WASHINGTON — Although there may not be much support in Congress for Internet gambling, Rep. Barney Frank says resistance is growing against a ban passed late last year.
“I think a lot of members of Congress voted for that (ban) without having given it a lot of attention,” Frank said Wednesday. “And I think that there is growing opposition to it,” he said. “I think that this may be a case where, after the fact of having voted for it, people don’t like it and they reconsider.”
Frank, the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he plans to introduce a bill “probably next week, maybe the week after” against the Internet gambling ban.
Democrat Shelley Berkley and Republican Jon Porter, both of Nevada, also are planning to unveil legislation within the next two weeks that would call for a study of Internet gambling by the National Academy of Sciences.
After considering an 18-month study, the Nevadans are expected to propose a one-year study instead.
The Poker Players Alliance, represented by former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., also may seek legislation that would exempt online poker from the ban.
Frank said he may support the Nevadans’ bill, but “I want to go beyond the study.”
Although he said it would be “premature” to discuss details of his bill, Frank explained why he has described the Internet gambling ban as one of the “stupidest” ever passed.
“Because I like to tell the truth,” he said. “It has no valid public purpose in my judgment. It intrudes in people’s private lives.
“One argument for it … was this activity adds nothing to the GDP (gross domestic product). That’s a chilling principle; that if something doesn’t add to the gross domestic product we can ban it. That’s a kind of … corporatism that is very troubling to me.”
The ban prohibits the use of credit cards or other bank instruments to pay for sports bets and gambling online. Before the ban, Internet gambling had become a $12 billion industry with more than 2,300 Web sites.
Congress passed the ban after it was attached to a port security bill by then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. The vote was 409-2, and previous roll call votes in the House and Senate have shown overwhelming support for an Internet gambling ban.
Frank acknowledged Congress may not be ready to change the ban dramatically.
“But I know (lawmakers) are hearing from people who don’t like it now. So I’d say the situation is very fluid,” Frank said.
Throughout his career, Frank has been a persistent and often lonely voice against efforts to regulate gambling.
“In a number of areas, I am a libertarian,” Frank said. “I think that John Stuart Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ is a great statement, and I was just rereading it. I believe that people should be allowed to read and gamble and ride motorcycles and do a lot of things that other people might not want to let them do.”
14 May 2010Canadian Man Pleads Guilty in U.S. Online Gambling Charge
Douglas Rennick, a Canadian man, has pleaded guilty to a count of processing offshore bets of U.S. citizens. Originally Rennick was looking at a charge of conspiracy and bank fraud. He had allegedly laundered $350 million dollars for overseas internet gambling companies. Rennick was indicted in August and on Tuesday entered a guilty plea to the one charge in New York Federal court. Part of the plea was forfeiting $17.1 million and a possible prison term of 6-12 months.Read full article
29 May 2006Politics of US gambling makes for odd bedfellows
Politics of US gambling makes for odd bedfellows By Edward Alden in Washington Published: May 26 2006 22:36 | Last updated: May 26 2006 22:36 Financial Times Of the 50 states in the US, in only two – Utah and Hawaii – is it impossible to find a place to gamble legally. Casinos dot America’s landscape, from the neon palaces of Las Vegas to some 400 more modest facilities on Indian reservations.Read full article
27 June 2006New state online gambling law raises doubts
Monday, June 26, 2006 Seattle Post-Intelligencer / seattlepi.com New state online gambling law raises doubts Some legal experts say it’s too broad to hold up in court By BLYTHE LAWRENCE AND TRACY JOHNSON P-I REPORTERS Weeks after a new state law about online gambling took effect, some legal experts are questioning whether it would hold up in court. The new law echoes a federal law that already makes Internet gambling illegal and upped the crime to a felony.Read full article