NEWSBRIEF
BY MARKANDERSON
Frank Hearing “Highlights”
July 22, 2021
It would be slightly unfair to say yesterday’s government hearing regarding H.R.2267- Congressman Barney Frank’s proposed legislation to regulate and tax internet gambling- was much like the Shakespeare quote “... a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury but signifying nothing”... but if it is, it's only slightly. 

Once again, as was the case with the last hearing for Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act which took place in December, representatives from all the regular players showed up to argue their positions on this controversial topic.  Once again few from either side seemed to make any real headway with each other, and once again the hearing ended with no solid indication as to exactly when this bill will finally reach the House floor, however quietly hidden within some of the posturing, questions and rants were a few hopeful hints as to actual progress being made. 

The witness list for the afternoon’s hearing included such big guns as Annie Duke representing the Poker Players Alliance, Tom Malkasian from California’s Commerce Casino, Lynn Malerba a Tribal Chairwomen of the Mohegan Tribe, Ed Williams representing the Credit Union National Association, and law enforcement and terrorism consultant Michael Fagan, but it was perhaps those represented by letters that made some of the biggest impacts, including a letter from United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and one from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents over 3 million businesses and organizations, and now along with the bill’s 69 co-sponsors supports H.R.2267 as well.
 
Along with all the standard arguments for protecting children and compulsive gamblers- which everyone involved seems to think would work better if their side proves victorious- an argument against currently running sites being allowed to operate in the US if internet gaming does become regulated was also a reoccurring concept. Some members, including  Democratic Representative Brad Sherman (CA), even seemed to agree with the witness Malkasian, when he argued allowing currently popular sites- which in his mind are breaking the law- to be a part of a future, regulated US online gambling market, is akin to giving Mexican drug cartels the biggest US licenses to sell pot, if Marijuana ever becomes decriminalized, just because they have the most experience dealing it.

Perhaps the last interesting revelation to come out of yesterday’s hearing came mainly as an aside  from Congressman Campbell (R-CA), who seemed to basically imply a full markup of H.R.2267 may actually occur by next week- the markup many were hoping was to be seen at this hearing when it was first announced.
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