Frank's Internet Gaming Bill Has Broad, Bipartisan Support

4/15/09 - The Hill - View Source

By Former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), chairman, Poker Players Alliance

The Hill’s April 2 article “Frank’s Internet gambling bill faces tough course to passage” wrongfully suggests that the issue of regulating Internet gaming is somehow partisan in nature, while pitting social conservatives against liberal Democrats. As a former senator, a Republican, and chairman of the Poker Players Alliance — a grassroots organization aimed to promote and protect poker both online and offline — I can tell you with great certainty that it is not.

Liberals and conservatives in and out of Congress are opposed to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act for a number of reasons: It does nothing to prevent children and problem gamblers from playing online; it overly burdens the banks, making them, not the federal government, policemen of the Internet; it costs the taxpayers billions in unearned revenue, not to mention the loss of capital and jobs when these companies are forced to move out of the U.S.; and it’s simply unenforceable.

In February, the Poker Players Alliance served as a cosponsor of the Conservative Political Action Conference, and the positive response to our issue was overwhelming. The principles that are aligned with Internet freedom, personal responsibility and limited government were abandoned when the UIGEA slipped through Congress in 2006. Both conservatives and liberals alike know that UIGEA was simply a bad bill turned into worse policy, and it must be redone in order to put a more effective system in place.

As House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and many Democratic and Republican members know, now is the time to do what’s right for all interested parties, not based on party politics. That means protecting Internet freedom and the public interest through taxation, licensing and regulation — not prohibition.

Protecting Children
Compulsive Gambling Safeguards
Secure Financial Transactions
New Government Revenues
Regulated and Licensed Environment
International Ramifications
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