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Will Frank's Bill Succeed?


Although Federal Law aimed at regulating the market would be highly beneficial, a successful Bill is by no means a foregone conclusion. Indeed, does the industry really think the Barney Frank is an avid and staunch supporter? That he sits in every night throwing his dollars onto the online blackjack table?

The answer, sadly for operators, is most likely a resounding 'No'. He is a consumate career politician who, just like Roosevelt before him saw the potential financial benefits from taxing a prohibited entertainment choice (online gambling for Frank, alcohol for FDR).

That said, Roosevelt's successful fiscal policy including the repeal of prohibition marked him as one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. But cruicially, it takes time. And we imagine this to be mirrored in the gambling legislation.

Frank is not out to force through this legislation at all costs, we are only at stage two of the process with no Bills having entered any Houses. It will change, be amended and we expect to see further penalties levied at the likes of PokerStars and Full Tilt before we can even begin to think about the US market en masse.

However, personally, we see no argument against the legislation of online gambling in the United States

It should also be noted that if and when regulation and taxation appears in the US gambling market we expect it to happen on a state by state basis.

While the Wire Act and UIEGA focus on cross-state gambling transactions and payment processing functions respectively, there appears to be scope for individual states to implement intra-state online gambling.

States such as the heavily indebted California, with a permissive-leaning society and Government, are believed to be actively exploring intra-state online gambling (likely to lead with poker), with the intention of generating significant tax income.

This state by state approach to legalising gambling in the United States seems to be the most viable given individual state's political and religious leanings so they have, always, the option to allow online gambling or not, much as our Mormon friends made Utah a dry state (until very recently) after prohibition.

Now, althoogh pro-gambling legislation is rarely a vote winner in many States, there are several significant localities that may support a considerable online gambling industry, both in terms of scale and acceptance. These could include:

California - population 37 million which is equal to 67% of the UK

Illinois - population 13 million

New Jersey - population 9 million

Nevade - population 3 million

 

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