"Companian bill" to HR2267 to be heard in May

McDermott and Frank bills both due for debate

It looks as if a companion bill to Congressman Barney Frank’s HR2267 may be the subject of a hearing later this month ahead of HR 2267 itself.

Staffers in the office of Representative Jim McDermott have hinted that May 19 and 20, although not yet confirmed, could be the dates on which his Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act will be discussed in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

Political observers point out that if such a hearing eventuates, it will be the first time the bill has enjoyed its own focus – on taxing a liberated US online gambling market – in the House.

Bringing the McDermott bill into the spotlight could complement its companion Frank bill, which seeks the legalisation of online gambling. In December Frank held a hearing on his HR2267 bill in the House Financial Services Committee, and is on record as saying another hearing is likely in May.

Frank’s other legislative proposal, which has the objective of delaying the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act until the legalisation issue is resolved, would appear to have little chance of success.

Proponents of the UIGEA have already been angered and frustrated by the successful postponement of the regulations to June 1st this year, and there appears to be little appetite in the Obama administration for a further extension.

A hearing scheduled for April 16 was postponed indefinitely due to a scheduling problem in Frank’s office (see previous InfoPowa report) and nothing further has been heard on it.

In these difficult economic times, when both federal and state budgets are under considerable stress, the potential of the McDermott bill to generate billions in tax revenues and increase employment opportunities is a powerful attraction, with the potential to improve the chances of the Frank bill that it complements – the bills are mutually supportive.

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