One of online gambling’s biggest supporters has announced he will not seek another term in office. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced that he will not seek reelection in 2012.
In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in a last moment add-on to must pass legislation. This angered Rep. Frank and ever since he has fought for online gambling and has sponsoring of several pieces of legislation to legalize and regulate online gaming in the United States.
Some worried that this would hurt representation of online gambling in the United States and even that he would consider becoming a lobbyist for the online gambling industry. Frank denied the thought of becoming a lobbyist and gaming organizations came out with statements that together helped calm the speculations.
Frank stated “My intention is to do some combination of writing, teaching, and lectures.”
Rep. Frank is the top ranking Democrat in the House Financial Services Committee and former Chairman. As Chairman, Frank pushed his online gambling legislation through the Committee but they never came up to vote in the full Congress.
He has proposed several bipartisan pieces of legislation since 2006 involving online gambling and what he saw as the fight for personal freedom for U.S. citizens. Recently he testified again in support of online gambling at the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing and the current proposed legislation offered by Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).
The Poker Players Alliance issued this statement from Executive Director John Pappas:
“Congressman Barney Frank has been a champion for Americans’ civil liberties. His longtime support for the freedom of adults to play online poker in a safe and regulated environment has been invaluable to our organization and to the interests of the entire poker community. The introduction and passage of H.R. 2267 through the House Financial Services Committee last year helped build the foundation for the online poker legislative proposals under consideration today.
The poker playing community will continue to build on the foundation established by Congressman Frank and we will forever be grateful for his fight for our personal freedoms. Thanks to Congressman Frank’s leadership our issue has become the topic of serious discussion throughout Capitol Hill. Even with his pending retirement, we are better positioned than ever to succeed legislatively. We have more Congressional champions and momentum now, more than ever.”