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Aaron Todd

Aaron  Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

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Frank introduces bill to regulate Internet gambling in U.S.

26 Apr 2007

By Aaron Todd

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced a bill on Thursday morning that would license Internet gambling companies and regulate the industry, allowing Americans to place bets online.

The Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act would establish a regulatory and enforcement framework to license companies and accept bets from people in the U.S., so long as they follow state regulations.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was signed in October last year, prohibits financial institutions from allowing U.S. citizens to make transactions to and from Internet gambling businesses.

Frank, who serves as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has long been an opponent of legislation that limits the ability of Americans to gamble on the Internet.

"I think it's one of the worst laws we've ever passed," said Frank in an interview with Casino City. "I think a lot of people (in Congress) are starting to have second thoughts."

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

Frank's plan calls for regulated companies to ensure gamblers are at least 18 years of age and in a jurisdiction that allows betting. Licensees would also need to demonstrate that they could combat fraud, money laundering and compulsive gambling, and ensure that all taxes and fees would be paid.

The bill would allow states and Indian tribes to control gambling activities within their borders, and sports leagues would be able to opt-out of allowing bets on their contests.

"Congressman Frank's bill is a common sense approach to Internet gaming," said former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, the Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, in a statement. "Licensing and regulation will allow us to sort out the most responsible sites who are good corporate citizens from those engaged in unscrupulous activities and practices. This legislation creates good public policy that establishes real safeguards that protect minors and problem gamblers while allowing the majority of adults to enjoy poker and other games online."

Frank noted that he has been in contact with D'Amato and the PPA, whose membership has grown to over 425,000. He said that the organization could have a tremendous impact, "if the membership was active in getting in touch with their representatives in Congress."

While exact dates are still to be determined, Frank believes the bill will receive a hearing in June or July.

The UIGEA passed in the final hours of the 110th Congress as an attachment to a Safe Ports Act. Frank said it was too early to comment on whether he would resort to a similar strategy.

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