May 4, 2007
United States Representative Shelly Berkley and her Nevada colleague United States Representative John Porter have introduced their long awaited bi-partisan bill that calls for a study of Internet gaming, and Representative Barney Frank is one of their co-sponsors.
Mr. Frank has barely left the podium announcing his own Internet Gambling bill which is designed to attack the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which was passed late last year. Ms. Berkley and Mr. Porter were among Mr. Frank’s near dozen co-sponsors last week.
The Nevada duo, Berkley and Porter, are co-chairs of the Congressional Gaming Caucus. Prior to submitting their bill, they proved to be very effective in building support on both sides of the aisle for the study bill, garnering thus far some 60 co-sponsors for their proposed legislation.
Congresswoman Berkley talked to me at length shortly before the introduction of the Study bill, explaining its appeal, regardless of how her colleagues previously voted last year on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. She insists that everyone in Congress should support getting the facts right and focus on understanding this business which has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry around the world in just a few short years.
She says the study will be conducted by the independent and highly regarded National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Her office has offered as part of a public statement, “It will be the basis for a report to lawmakers on a wide range of issues that involve Internet gaming, including advances in technology, regulation in other countries, and the impact of the current federal on-line gambling ban in the United States.”
PPA President Michael Bolcerek, spoke to me this afternoon to confirm that PPA considers the Study bill to be positive in so far as “it moves the needle in the right direction” but emphasizes that “his group would like it to move faster and thinks that it can.”
As I reported several weeks ago, I can now confirm that the Berkley/Porter Study bill will be referred to the Judiciary Committee and other committees are likely to get into the fray in the near future. Stay tuned for my further assessment of the bill after my next discussion with her scheduled for later today…
Wendeen Eolis advises commercial and online gaming companies as part of her legal business/ contract negotiations consulting practices. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the World Poker Association and chairs its Government Relations Committee. Ms. Eolis is also an internationally recognized tournament poker player; she was elected to the WPT’s Inaugural Professional Poker Tour and has cashed in five WSOP events. Her published articles are read in poker and legal journals Visit eolis.com for info on her upcoming manual, Secrets of the People Reader. This article is an adaptation of material that may be part of Ms. Eolis’ forthcoming book, Power Poker Dame.