Hearings on legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) seeking to overturn provisions of the unpopular Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) have been pushed back to at least September, according to a spokesman for the Poker Players Alliance, one of the groups supporting and helping craft the Frank measures.
The most important legislation sponsored which is affected by the delay, is H.R. 2267, Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, which seeks to create a regulatory framework at the U.S. federal level for internet gambling operations, and has to date attracted 35 Congressional co-sponsors. A second bill introduced by Frank, H.R. 2266, the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act, sought to delay implementation of UIGEA provisions enacted in January, 2009 for an extra year and may be rendered moot by the most recent delay. A third, related bill authored by Rep. James McDermott (D-WA), H.R. 2268, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, is a companion measure to Frank’s H.R. 2267 bill and will also be delayed.
No specifics have been offered for the delay in the hearings, which were originally scheduled for either on or around July 8 or in conjunction with the Poker Player Alliance’s “fly in” to Washington D.C. as part of its recently proclaimed National Poker Week. The ongoing American (and worldwide) economic crisis has dominated activities of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, which Rep. Frank chairs and before which the hearings on the online gambling bills would eventually be held.