Poker News

Last week, Congressman Barney Frank (D–MA) garnered another co-sponsor to his internet gambling bill, bringing the total number of co-sponsors, including Frank himself, to 66.  HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, would establish the regulatory and licensing framework for online gambling in the United States, moving internet poker out of the gray legal area that it has long been in and into the light of complete legality.

The new co-sponsor is Charles Wilson, a Democrat from Ohio’s 6th Congressional district, which starts in the Mahoning Valley in the north and runs 325 miles down the Ohio River.  Cities in the district include Bridgeport, Canfield, Wellsville, Ironton, and Ohio’s first city, Marietta.  National Journal Magazine released its “Voting Ratings” issue last week, labeling Wilson as a centrist.  Out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, he ranks as the 192nd most liberal and the 239th most conservative.  Wilson is the third Congressman from Ohio to co-sponsor HR 2267, joining fellow Democrats Steve Driehaus and Tim Ryan.

Below is the list of HR 2267’s co-sponsors, organized by state:

Alaska
Don Young (R)

Arizona
Raul Grijalva (D)

California
Michael Thompson (D)
George Miller (D)
Michael Honda (D)
Linda Sanchez (D)
Bob Filner (D)
Adam Schiff (D)
Lynn Woolsey (D)

Colorado
Jared Polis (D)
Ed Perlmutter (D)
Betsy Markey (D)

Connecticut
Joe Courtney (D)
John Larson (D)
Christopher Murphy (D)

Florida
Robert Wexler (D)
Alcee Hastings (D)

Hawaii
Neil Abercrombie (D)

Idaho
Walt Minnick (D)

Illinois
Luis Gutierrez (D)
Bill Foster (D)

Indiana
Andre Carson (D)

Louisiana
Charlie Melancon (D)

Massachusetts
James McGovern (D)
Barney Frank (D)
Michael Capuano (D)
William Delahunt (D)

Michigan
John Conyers (D)

Missouri
Russ Carnahan (D)
William Lacy Clay (D)

Nevada
Shelley Berkley (D)

New Hampshire
Paul Hodes (D)

New Jersey
Robert Andrews (D)
Frank LoBiondo (R)
John Adler (D)
Steven Rothman (D)
Bill Pascrell (D)

New York
Tim Bishop (D)
Steve Israel (D)
Peter King (R)
Carolyn McCarthy (D)
Gary Ackerman (D)
Joseph Crowley (D)
Jerrold Nadler (D)
Edolphus Towns (D)
Mike McMahon (D)
Charles Rangel (D)
Paul Tonko (D)
Eliot Engel (D)
Daniel Maffei (D)
Anthony Weiner (D)

North Carolina
Melvin Watt (D)

Northern Mariana Islands
Gregorio Sablan (D)

Ohio
Steve Driehaus (D)
Tim Ryan (D)
Charles Wilson (D)

Oregon
Earl Blumenauer (D)

Tennessee
Steve Cohen (D)

Texas
Ron Paul (R)
Ciro Rodriguez (D)

Vermont
Peter Welch (D)

Virginia
Bobby Scott (D)
Tom Perriello (D)
James Moran (D)

Washington
Jim McDermott (D)
Adam Smith (D)

While Wilson has not issued a statement regarding the online gambling bill, he likely feels that one major positive aspect of regulation and legalization is the potential tax revenue to be collected.  In a recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Rep. William Lacy Clay (D–MO) gave part of his reasoning for supporting Frank’s bill. “We should not be so naive to think that we are going to do away with gambling by passing that law (the UIGEA in 2006),” he said.  “I think $42 billion (the amount of tax revenue estimated from online gambling over the next ten years) is a significant sum that the federal government needs to fund some of the programs that are worthy and that Americans benefit from.”

Added his colleague, Russ Carnahan (D–MO), “It’s the kind of thing that requires clear rules and regulations so that it functions well.”

2 Comments

  1. ELECTION REFLECTION says:

    Yes, definitely support this legislation! It will provided another source of revenue seriously needed by our government. Gambling will never stop whether legal or illegal. Why not benefit from this entertainment source?

  2. Joe says:

    I am glad to see some representatives finally standing up for poker. Some have recently dubbed poker as a “skill game” versus gambling. This is great to see and is one of the first steps to poker players’ rights. Excellent. Also many states such as California need extra funding for state finances.

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