Frank unveils Internet gambling legislation
H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act of 2009 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. The legislation comes in response to the enactment of Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which restricted the use of the payments system for Americans who gamble online.
In addition, Chairman Frank announced he is introducing separate legislation to delay the implementation of regulations pursuant to the 2006-passed UIGEA, which are set to go into effect December 1, 2009. The regulations were completed by the Bush Administration at the last minute, and the legislation will stop Federal regulators from enforcing the UIGEA until Congress has had a chance to decide national policy.
The Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection & 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 U.S., on the condition that they maintain effective protections against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering and fraud, and enforce prohibitions or restrictions on types of gambling prohibited by states, and Indian Tribes.
This bill would provide the Department of the Treasury with the exclusive authority to establish regulations and license Internet gambling operators. License applicants would be:
- Subject to review of their financial condition and corporate structure, business experience, suitability, and criminal background checks, and agree to be subject to U.S. jurisdiction
- Prohibited from accepting any type of bet or wager that is initiated or terminated in a state or tribal land that prohibits that type of Internet gambling, or any sports gambling or wager prohibited under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
This bill would provide Treasury the authority to revoke or terminate the license of any operator who fails to comply with the bill’s provisions. Violators could be fined or imprisoned for up to five years, or both.
SAFEGUARDS AND PROTECTIONS
- Any Internet gambling operator receiving a license would be required to have the appropriate safeguards in place to:
- Ensure an individual placing a bet or wager is of legal age as defined by the law of the State or tribal area in which the individual is located at the time the bet or wager is placed
- Ensure an individual placing a bet or wager is physically located in a jurisdiction that permits Internet gambling at the time a bet or wager is placed.
- Protect the privacy and security of individuals engaged in internet gambling
- Combat fraud and money laundering as prescribed by regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury or designee
- Combat Compulsive Internet Gambling