H.R. 2267: Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, 2009. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h2267ih.txt.pdf
In May 2009, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) resurrected a bill similar to one he was unable to pass in the previous congress. HR 2267, or the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, “would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses authorizing them to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the United States.” Currently slated for the September session, many poker players are betting that this bill will finally legalize their Internet gambling. One of the other two bills that join HR2267 is HR2266 (Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act) with the purpose of framing the regulation and taxation of this new enterprise; namely, “a 2 percent fee (i.e. federal tax) on all deposits.” The third counterpart, the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act, is the last ditch effort to stall the UIGEA, which calls for a one-year delay in date for compliance.
In Frank’s own words, “The government should not interfere with people's liberty unless there is a good reason. This is, I believe, the single biggest example of an intrusion into the principle that people should be free to do things on the Internet. It's clearly the case that gambling is an activity that can be done offline but not online.” Most advocates point to the revenue stream this bill would create, while opponents argue “legalized online gambling is a ‘clear danger to our youth’ and encourages gambling addiction at a young age.” However, Frank’s response to this claim is “The notion that a society should prohibit something entirely because of the possibility that children will abuse it is a terrible blow to liberty.” The authors have stressed that the bill includes safeguards to prevent underage or compulsive gambling and protect consumers who gamble online.
Until the bill comes to session, lobbying efforts have been promised by the Poker Players Alliance that include a $3 million campaign. HR2267 moves contrary to the traditional prohibitive stance the government has taken to online gambling. In an economic downturn, it’s no surprise that novel revenue streams become more appealing, which makes passing the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act a no-brainer. According to Harrah's Entertainment's senior vice president of communications and government relations Jan Jones, "We really believe this industry already exists. It just exists in a wild west setting. If you say you care about protecting children and fraud and money laundering, then the only way you can put those protections in place is to put in a strong regulatory frame."