The Congress financial Services Committee held, Dec 3rd a hearing on Congressman Barney Frank’s proposals for the legalization and legislation of online gambling, including online poker.
Proposal HR 2266 is aimed at delaying the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) to December 2010. Proposal HR 2267 is offering to grant federal licenses for internet gambling operators in the US.
The hearing was held only days after the UIGEA enforcement, planned for December 1st 2009 was delayed. US Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke agreed to postpone the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act for 6 months, to June 1st.
Main speaker for Online Gambling legalization advocates was Barney Frank, who presented his case in the hearing and was supported by a number of witnesses, including chairman of Youbet.com Michael Brodsky and Executive Director of WiredSafey, Parry Aftah. Also present at the hearing were representatives from the Poker Players Alliance.
Opponents for the legalization of online gambling were lead by Republican Spencer Bachus. To support his anti online gambling position, Bachus presented a letter from the FBI claiming that cheating in online gambling is more than possible and that legalization of online gambling may lead to the expansion of fraud.
After 90 minutes of debate, including complaints from Bachus about the absence of representatives from the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve it was decided to adjourn with no vote on the proposals, and continue discussion in the committee during 2010.