Finally, someone from the Congress steps up to the plate and files a bill to repudiate Bush and the Republicans’ stupid law – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Just six months after President Bush signed a law outlawing online gambling, a key Democratic politician has proposed lifting the ban.
Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, on Thursday introduced a bill that would replace the current broad prohibition with strict regulations, including criminal background checks and financial disclosure, imposed on companies that seek to offer legal Internet gambling.
“The existing legislation is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans and this interference should be undone,” Frank said. His bill is called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (PDF).
Last year’s legislation tried to eliminate many forms of online gambling by targeting Internet service providers and financial intermediaries, namely banks and credit card companies that process payments to offshore Web sites.
Those sites included ones like Bodog Sportsbook, Casino and Poker of Costa Rica. Estimates typically put Internet gambling revenue at more than $12 billion a year.
The bill never received a formal up-or-down vote in the entire Congress. Instead, Republican congressional leaders have been criticized for gluing it onto an unrelated port security bill. The Senate unanimously approved the port security measure and it cleared the House of Representatives with only two dissenting votes.
Frank argues that because …