Frank introduces online gaming bill

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced his long-anticipated online gaming bill Wednesday.

The legislation by the House Financial Services Chairman would lift the ban on gambling on the Internet and instead tax and regulate it. In addition, Frank introduced a separate bill to delay regulations put in place by the Bush administration related to legislation passed by the then-Republican controlled Congress in 2006 that banned online gaming.

Gaming interests have been impatiently waiting for Frank to introduce the bill this Congress. The Massachusetts Democrat pushed the legislation last Congress as well but it failed to make it out of committee for a floor vote in the House.

Frank can expect strident opposition from conservative Christian groups, such as the Christian Coalition, who say lifting the ban could hurt family by making gambling easier. In addition, sports leagues, like the National Football League, will most likely heavily lobby against the bill.

As The Hill reported last month, Frank plans not to attach the bill to must-pass legislation. Instead, he plans to garner enough support this Congress to pass his bill on its own. In 2006, Republicans added their own gaming ban measure to needed port security legislation, which eased its passage.

-- Kevin Bogardus

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