As reported yesterday, the House Finance Committee approved Rep. Barney Frank‘s Internet gambling bill, H.R. 2267, by a vote of 41 to 22 (34 Democrats, 7 Republicans). The bill, which still may not even make its way to the House floor but definitely falls under the “Good for PokerTM” category, would effectively undo the UIGEA and make all online gambling, except sports betting, legal at the federal level. Individual states would then have the chance to opt out.
Despite around-the-clock coverage of President Obama’s historical appearance on The View (anybody got download for Sarcastica font?), the vote did draw lots of mainstream media mentions including a NY Times article titled, Congress Rethinks Its Ban on Internet Gambling, which received a lot of pick up in newspapers around the country. Good news is that much of the discussion is turning towards the potential revenue ($42
mil bil) the government would rake if they regulated and taxed online gambling and less on the morality debate. Looking at how things are playing out in Europe, that’s where the focus should be.
Anyway, here are a few choice comments from both sides of the issue we pulled from a few of the articles. Check ’em out:
“Some adults will spend their money foolishly, but it is not the purpose of the federal government to prevent them legally from doing it.” – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. (link)
“After all the talk during the last year about shutting down the casinos on Wall Street, it does not make any sense to me why we would be taking steps to open casinos in every home, dorm room, library, iPod, Blackberry, iPad and computer in America.” – Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. (link)
“I was looking for the money,” Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., who sponsored a companion measure to allow taxation of online gambling. (link)
“We’ve been supportive of this bill, it addresses the reality of what is happening on the Internet,” Jan Jones, senior VP of government relations for Harrah’s. (link)
“I have opposed this bill for years, but I am slowly changing. The best reason for this bill is the prospect for revenue.” – Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. (link)
“We will not pass an Internet gaming bill. We will pass a bill to do something very important, funded by Internet gaming.” – Brad Sherman, D-Calif. (link)
Be sure to tune in to “This Week In Poker” this Tuesday at 4pm PST/7pm EST for more on the bill, what its passage means and where do we go from here. Guests include Annie Duke, a woman, who testified before the committee, and John Pappas, the Exec. Director of the PPA.
More photos of Virgina Hughes Russell (above) here.