Barney Frank Will Attempt To Repeal Oppressive UIGEA

Liam ParkerContributor IMay 5, 2009

LAS VEGAS - JULY 31:  Retired boxing champion Lennox Lewis stacks his chips as he competes on the fourth day of the first round of the World Series of Poker no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event at the Rio Hotel & Casino July 31, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 8,700 players have registered to play in the main event. The final nine players will compete for the top prize of more than USD 11.7 million on the final table which begins August 10.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Representative Barney Frank announced that on Wednesday he will unveil legislation to repeal the oppressive Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The UIGEA was tacked on to the Safe Ports Act that was passed in 2006.

The UIGEA didn’t make gambling illegal, but rather it targeted banks who were doing business with the Internet companies. Attaching the bill to the port Security bill guaranteed the passage as no politician wanted to appear soft on national security.

The new bill will exempt operators that are licensed and regulated from the ban.  This will open the doors for operators the worlds largest on-line poker company Party Poker and the worlds largest casino operator to reenter the US market. 

Both Party Poker and 888 lost billions of shareholder dollars after the ban went into place, with Party Poker Stock dropping almost 60 percent. More importantly, it will end an oppressive three years of living under the ban for Americans, who feel they should be allow to spend their hard earned dollars in anyway they wish.

The bill is sure to be opposed by anti-gambling republicans, but with the Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate, it’s hard to say if the Republicans can put up much resistance.

The Massachusetts Democrat said his legislation "will enable Americans to bet on-line and put an end to an inappropriate interference with their personal freedom."

Let’s look at the other opponents of online gambling.

The Religious right—I will not get into along drawn out thing about the religious right but any group that wants to remove peoples freedoms is not too cool with me. If you don’t want to gamble or drink or pretty much anything else don’t do it but don’t ever tell free citizens how they should live.

The Sports Leagues (Particularly the NFL)—The NFL has spent MILLIONS of dollars to lobby for stricter prohibition but I would argue without gambling the NFL would not have the same popularity it currently enjoys. Without gambling no one outside of Cleveland or Detroit would sit through a Browns-Lions game.

Indian Casinos, Nevada/Atlantic City and the Horse Racing Industry—These groups have a vested interested in seeing Internet gambling illegal. Each of these groups want you to gamble in their operations and stand to lose a lot of money if you are able to place your wagers from the comfort of your home.

Regardless of whether you enjoy betting on sports, playing poker or on-line blackjack this is an important step in the return of American’s economic freedom. Please call your local congressman to ensure they vote yea when the time come to pass this very important bill.