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Legalised Online Gambling in U.S. is One Step Closer

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When the U.S. Congress voted in anti-online gambling legalisation UIGEA in October 2006, online gambling fans the world over groaned with disappointment, but from the ashes a white knight has emerged in the form of Barney Frank.

Since that dark day in American politics, Republican Barney Frank (D., Mass.) has been carrying the torch high and bright for the legalisation and regulation of online gambling in the United States, and this week his flame got a heck of a lot brighter.

On Wednesday this week in Washington D.C., Frank’s HR 2267 Internet Gambling Act was unanimously voted for, 41-22-1, by the House Financial Services Committee, which showed that more politicians are warming to the idea of legalisation.

When this bill was revealed to the House in 2008 and voted on, the response was very different. Since October 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, online gambling has been demonised in the U.S.

But Barney Frank has been seeking to change that by convincing other politicians that instead of banning the popular internet pastime and forcing U.S. players ‘underground’, the government can benefit from taxes levied on online gambling revenues.

In fact, one of the reasons that HR 2267 went through on this occasion was a series of last minute amendments. The first is that online gambling companies targeting American online gamblers must be based in the U.S. and thus subject to its taxation.

Other amendments to the HR 2267 Internet Gambling Act included the necessity for security measure to ensure the location and identity of players, as well as loss limits and the boldly displayed odds of each game before a player can start playing.

The next step is that Barney Frank will present his HR 2267 Internet Gambling Act to the full House of Congress in September. Then the Senate must approve the bill before President Obama signs it and officially ends the nation’s online gambling ban.

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