While attending a recent celebrity poker tournament near the Democratic Convention in Denver, Representative Barney Frank did not act defeated regarding the failure of his bill to prevent the enforcement of the UIGEA to escape committee.
In fact, Frank told reporters that the law would pass in 2009 under a Democrat-controlled Congress. This news was met with hope by all online gambling fans, as well as purists for individual freedom.
Frank’s bill, designed to block the institution of the financial mess that is the UIGEA, was prevented from advancing to the House floor by a tie, 37-37 vote in the Financial Services Committee. Advocates had been sure of the measure’s passage, but a campaign of misinformation, demagoguery, and lies by Alabama Republican Representative Spencer Bachus caused public pressure to force certain Representatives to change their vote.
Pressure from such radical fringe groups as Focus on the Family will be far less effective with a decisive Democrat majority in the Congress, a likelihood after the November elections.
Some had speculated the incoming Congress, albeit friendly to patrons of Internet casinos and cognizant of their rights, may have too many issues to quickly address the inequities of the UIGEA. But Frank expressed confidence that the Congress would be able to deal with regulating online gambling while performing its most urgent duties.
Republican supporters of individual liberty, small government and the right to gamble in one’s own house, online or not, now wait to see if their Party will leave them no choice but to vote Democratic.