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Donna Jordan:

Gambling Columnist & Senior Editor

Congressman Barney Frank, State Representative from Massachusetts and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) in April of 2007.

While most opposers of the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) expected Congressman Frank to initiate a complete repeal of the gambling law, Frank instead proposed a resolution that would allow for an exemption of qualifying Internet gambling operators to apply for licensing in the US.

The IGREA lays the framework for legalization, regulation and taxation of Internet gambling. Any online gambling operator who displays adequate means of preventing underage and problem gambling would qualify to apply for licensing in the US.

According to the IGREA, the prevention of underage and problem gambling is possible through well equipped service providers who consistently monitor activities and capably maintain essential records on all members.

Frank proposed the IGREA because he believes, “The existing legislation is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans and this interference should be undone.”

The Congressman has stated his intention is not to support gambling itself, but rather the personal rights of adult Americans. “The fundamental issue here is a matter of individual freedom,” Frank said.

Franks IGREA, HR 2046, has gained the support of many US congressman, some of which originally passed the UIGEA, but now have swayed their support in favor of regulating the online gambling industry.

Julia Carson, representative from Indiana, switched sides during a Financial Services Committee hearing to explore HR 2046 in early June, as no one could answer her question as to why it should be legal for Indiana residents to wager over the Internet on the Kentucky Derby horse races, yet not on any other type of gambling. According to those who attended the meeting, all that came in response was a “feeble mumble from someone on the panel that it should be legal.”

Supporters for the IGREA currently include:

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