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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Repeal the Uigea

Internet Gambling: Barney Frank to Repeal UIGEA with support from the Euroean Union

The Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney
Frank of Massachusetts is about to introduce a bill to end the ban on
internet gambling imposed by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement
Act of 2006. Frank has called UIGEA the "stupidest law ever passed" and
is looking into introduce the legislation with the help of Southern
Nevada Congresswoman, Shelley Berkley and others.

"I want to get it undone," Frank told reporters.

A bill to end a ban imposed last year on online gambling in the United
States will be presented within two weeks but will likely need time to
garner support, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said on Thursday.

think a reconsideration among my colleagues is beginning but it's not
far enough along yet," Frank said. "If the storm of public unhappiness
is great enough then I will try to substantially revise that ban."

Could the European Union get involved?

In a letter to President George W. Bush, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl
bragged about wiping out over $7 billion in market capitalization from
AIM listed publicly traded gaming companies. Kyl’s actions and UIGEA
bothered the European Union which is home to several internet gambling
firms that were forced to withdraw from the United States. After a
visit from Frank, the EU internal market chief Charlie McCreevy hinted
he may challenge the ban at the World Trade Organization.

Antigua & Barbuda has already won a landmark internet
gambling case over the United States at the World Trade Organization.
The WTO recently released the official 215 page report declaring that
the United States failed to change legislation that unfairly targets
internet gambling websites. The WTO agreed with Antigua and stated that
the United States could only block such websites if its laws were
equally applied to domestic firms that offer other forms of internet
gambling such as remote betting on horse racing. Internet gambling
firms have long contested that the US move is simply protectionism.

am not going to draw a distinction between poker and blackjack," Frank
said. This is music to the ears of the entire internet gambling
industry. Many within the industry thought that online poker could
receive an exemption to the existing law, however, Frank’s comments
clearly indicate that his legislation will help internet casinos &
sports betting websites as well.

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