The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, which was introduced in early May by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and numbered HR 2267, has quickly attracted 23 co-sponsors.

A total of four co-sponsors latched onto the bill on May 21st, driving the number of proponents from 19 to 23. Among them is Joseph Crowley (D-NY), who represents the state’s Seventh District, which includes parts of New York City such as Queens and the Bronx. Also signing on was Bob Filner (D-CA), who represents the 51st District of the western state. Filner is the Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs and has been a figure on Capitol Hill since 1992. Michael McMahon (D-NY), who represents the 13th District of the original colony, became a co-sponsor of Frank’s HR 2267 on May 21st. His district includes Staten Island in New York City. The final new addition to the bill is Steven Rothman (D-NJ), whose Ninth District includes parts of Bergen and Passaic Counties.

Followers of previous online poker legislation will recognize many of HR 2267’s original co-sponsors. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) introduced legislation during the last Congress to study the internet gambling industry and the effects of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was passed during the waning moments of the 2006 Congressional session. Like other measures concerning internet gambling, Berkley’s study bill did not see time on the floor of the House of Representatives. Robert Wexler (D-FL), who authored HR 2610 during the last Congress, is also a co-sponsor of Frank’s Bill. HR 2610 was dubbed the Skill Game Protection Act and exempted poker, bridge, mah jong, and other player versus player games from the UIGEA and Wire Act.

Twice in 2008, Frank introduced legislation to clarify the UIGEA by developing a comprehensive list of what was legal and illegal. The first version was HR 5767, which was submitted by Frank and Ron Paul (R-TX). It included an amendment by Peter King (R-NY), but did not make it out of the House Financial Services Committee last June. King’s amendment, which would have called for a laundry list to be developed of acceptable internet activities, was struck down by virtue of a 32-32 tie vote. The bill itself was then promptly defeated after an oral vote. Two of Frank’s strongest Republican allies in the House, Paul and King are both co-sponsors of HR 2267.

Also signing onto the bill is Jim McDermott (D-WA), whose Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (HR 2268) was introduced on the same day as HR 2267. The bill, which is similar to a measure introduced last year, calls for 2% of internet gambling deposits to be taxed, raising money for the Federal Government in the process. Frank is HR 2268’s lone co-sponsor, as the two pieces of legislation are companion bills. Steve Cohen (D-TN) is also a co-sponsor of HR 2267. The Memphis Congressman presided over a February hearing in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law about midnight rules. As many poker players remember, the regulations of the UIGEA were passed as midnight rules by the outgoing Bush Administration and will go into effect on December 1st. They were officially adopted on January 19th, one day before then-incoming President Barack Obama took office.

Other co-sponsors of HR 2267 include Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Jim McGovern (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Tom Perriello (D-VA), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Robert C. Scott (D-VA), and Melvin Watt (D-NC).

Also introduced by Frank earlier this month was HR 2266, the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act. The bill would delay the enforcement of UIGEA regulations for one year until December 1st, 2010.

One Comment

  1. Gugel says:

    Any details when the bill is actually gonna come up for a vote?

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