Frank Bill Moves to Full House

16 September 2008

The House Financial Services Committee today approved Barney Frank’s third installment of the Payment Systems Protection Act, HR 6870.

The bill was accepted by a 30-to-19 vote.

The new version of the payments protection act, which was introduced last Thursday by Mr. Frank, calls for the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board, in consultation with the attorney general, to devise a formal process for defining what types of Internet gambling are unlawful.

At the bill markup this afternoon, Mr. Frank argued for further clarification of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or UIGEA. He said that a fundamental principle of American law is that citizens should be able to understand the law.

In response to one of the bill's main opponents' suggestion that legalizing online gambling would mean the government encouraged such activities, Mr. Frank said things shouldn't be observed in just two classes -- those being things that are illegal, and things that the government encourages.

"Some will abuse it, but some will abuse anything," he went on to say about Internet gambling.

During today’s discussion, Spencer Bachus, an Alabama Republican and the committee's ranking Republican member, swiftly denounced the bill and mentioned it was "disappointing" to be voting on it again. Previously, the committee had voted against a similar bill in June that was introduced by Mr. Frank and Ron Paul, a Libertarian Texas Republican.

However, he said he was happy for the "more targeted" bill though still couldn’t support it.

Stay tuned for reactions from Washington insiders.

Jeanette Kozlowski is a staff writer for IGamingNews and manager of Clarion Gaming's Gaming Industry Media portal. She lives in Kirkwood, Mo.