Rep. Berkley Introduces Bill Into Congress Calling For One Year Study Of Online Gambling

04 May 2007

Newspaper

More activity this week as Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-NV) yesterday introduced a bill calling for a one year study of online wagering to be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Rep. Berkley wants to repeal the UIGEA which was rammed down lawmakers throats last year during the last minutes of session and signed into law October 13th as part of an unrelated bill. “It’s very difficult to unring a bell once it has rung in Washington,” Berkley said. “But the ban was sneaked onto a port security bill, and the people who voted for it, including myself, were not contemplating a ban on Internet gambling.”

Speaking on her bill, Rep. Berkley said “One of the advantages of this legislation is that it doesn’t take a side,” she said. “It doesn’t say Internet gambling is good or bad. It says ‘Let’s study the issue.’ ” Among other things, Rep. Berkley’s bill calls for the examination of technological methods used by other countries already licensing and regulating online gambling, assesses the impact of the UIGEA enacted last year and analyzes the recent rulings on internet gambling by the WTO.

The introduction of this legislation comes a week after Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced legislation calling for the regulation and taxation of online gambling.

Berkley and Frank are co-sponsors of the other’s bill. Franks bill has 11 co-sponsors and Berkley says she has 60, which besides Frank include Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV)and Jon Porter (R-NV). John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Bob Wexler (D-FL) is also reported to be working on a bill that would create an exemption from the UIGEA for online poker players. No timetable was given for that bill’s introduction to Congress.