One of the main proponents of online poker legalisation in the USA – Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) – announced this week he will be stepping down at the end of his current two-year term after more than 30 years work in various governmental positions.
But what does this mean to the online gambling industry, and players who want online gambling legalised in the US? Well, more than you think. When looking into who is set to replace him, it seems worrying times could be ahead.
As the ranking Democratic member of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the country’s banking and credit card systems – and makes laws regulating them – Frank does their bidding. Meaning he supports legalisation of online gambling because it would make money for the banks and credit card companies.
However, as of 31 December next year when he is set to be replaced; filling his shoes will be California congresswoman Maxine Waters. Yep, Waters is the second-ranking Democratic member on the House Financial Services Committee so puts her next in line. What a way to welcome in year 2013: a number that will be even more unlucky for some. Here’s why:
- When good old Frank voted against the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003, which would make it illegal for credit cards to be used to fund online gambling – Waters voted in favour of it. (Although it never became law because it wasn’t approved by Senate that year)
- Then, when the bill was brought back to life three years later, in 2006 (part of a larger bill involving port security in the U.S), Waters voted in favour of the bill yet again. This helped it along its way, which eventually saw it passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Do we even need to mention Frank’s position? He was against it, of course.
So, a year from now – when Barney Frank retires – we have none other than Waters to look forward to. Online gamblers looking for legalisation in the U.S will certainly be living in fear of what changes she will bring to the table. Our bets are, they won’t be pro-gambling ones.
What damage do you think Maxine Waters could cause…to the online gambling industry, that is ?