All of the work Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has done in service to overturning the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the prevailing act defining American gambling laws, may be for naught if his Democratic Party can’t hold a majority in the House of Representatives in November elections.
As the U.S. House of Representatives’ financial services committee chairman, Frank is able to advance bills such as the “Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act” (or HR 2267) in order to neutralize the highly restrictive UIGEA law. However, a staunch rival who is against liberalization of laws on online casinos in the United States has designs on Frank’s influential position.
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) recently told CNBC emphatically that “I will be the chairman if we’re in the majority.” Bachus ally Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) chipped in with “My expectation is that Spencer Bachus will be the next chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and I support him.”
In a hearing on Frank’s HR 2267 bill, Bachus asked congressmen and public, “After all of the talk of the past year of shutting the casinos down on Wall Street, why would we take steps today to open casinos in every bedroom and every dorm room on iPods, Blackberrys, iPhones, and computers?”
It sounds like bad news for lovers of Internet poker and online casinos in the U.S., for Monday saw the release of Gallup poll results showing that Republicans had achieved an “unprecedented” 10 percentage point advantage over the Democrats.