Online Gambling

Frank to Introduce Repeal of Internet Gambling Bill

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It if it passes, it would be a small victory, but a notable one. When was the last time Congress gave a little freedom back?

"I think a lot of members of Congress voted for that (ban) without having given it a lot of attention," Frank said Wednesday. "And I think that there is growing opposition to it," he said. "I think that this may be a case where, after the fact of having voted for it, people don't like it and they reconsider."

Frank, the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he plans to introduce a bill "probably next week, maybe the week after" against the Internet gambling ban.

To be effective, the bill would probably not only need to repeal the UIGA, but also be explicit about what it's allowing. It would need to make clear, for example, that Internet gambling does not fall under the auspices of the old 1961 Federal Wire Act. Ready for the punch line?

"In a number of areas, I am a libertarian," Frank said. "I think that John Stuart Mill's 'On Liberty' is a great statement, and I was just rereading it.

"I believe that people should be allowed to read and gamble and ride motorcycles and do a lot of things that other people might not want to let them do."

Sad thing is, Frank's basically a big government socialist on most economic issues. And yet he's still one of the more libertarian members of Congress.

NEXT: Alexander Cockburn Has a Posse

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  1. Everyone wants to claim to be a libertarian these days. After the term gets watered down and perverted, can we have ‘liberal’ back?

  2. “I believe that people should be allowed to read and gamble and ride motorcycles and do a lot of things that other people might not want to let them do.”

    People don’t want me to read!?!?!

    I blame Hollywood and Rock Star games.

  3. Maybe Frank will come around on economic issues…maybe? Reason should interview Frank, and “accidentally” leave some good economic libertarian literature with Frank…or just straight up ask him how he can be an admitted social libertarian but not an economic libertarian?

  4. R C Dean | February 23, 2007, 2:39pm | #

    There is nothing currently underway

    Semantically, the word “currently” adds nothing to this sentence. It means the same thing as “there is nothing underway.”

    The word “currently” is just reflexive redundant obfuscation by a professional obfuscator. Nothing more.

    He is doing nothing, and that’s all there is to it.

  5. I know some people who are pretty libertarian on social issues, but when it comes to economic issues they hesitate. I’ve found that it is because they believe this certain notion that if one guy earns and amasses a great deal of wealth, it somehow prevents or takes away from the next, more poorer guy’s ability to do the same.


  6. “I believe that people should be allowed to read and gamble and ride motorcycles and do a lot of things that other people might not want to let them do.”

    How kind of him to grant me these privileges. It would be too much to ask that I be allowed to make decisions for myself about what I do with the money I earn.

  7. You are in the wrong place joe.

  8. I think he means that he believes that you’ve posted in the wrong thread.

  9. Sad thing is, Frank’s basically a big government socialist on most economic issues. And yet he’s still one of the more libertarian members of Congress.

    Radley wins the thread and makes me cry at the same time.

  10. Ah, I see.

    joshua, I cut that comment from a thread about Barney Frank announcing his intent to reverse the internet gambling ban. When asked about whether he was doing so, Frank replied “There is nothing currently underway.”

    Some of us read that statement, and the word “currently,” as a cagey deflection from his intent to file a repeal. Others among us were certain that it meant no such thing.

  11. “It would be too much to ask that I be allowed to make decisions for myself about what I do with the money I earn.”

    You mean like, say, whether you can gamble with it on the internet?

  12. “In a number of areas, I am a libertarian,” Frank said. “I think that John Stuart Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ is a great statement, and I was just rereading it.

    That’s it. I’m not waiting till I get home. It’s a three martini lunch day.


  13. “It would be too much to ask that I be allowed to make decisions for myself about what I do with the money I earn.”

    You mean like, say, whether you can gamble with it on the internet?

    Exactly. I’m appreciative.

  14. Warren,

    I’m a libertarian in the sense that I like those tricorne hats. Otherwise, I’m a fascist.

    Bourbon is the true drink of freedom, incidentally.

  15. CONGRATS ProL!

    (didn’t expect to see you here!)

    agreed about bourbon, too!

    cheers!

  16. “When was the last time Congress gave a little freedom back?”

    I’m hijacking the thread to make it about what the blogger asked up front.

    Do we count increases in income tax exemptions?

    If not, the most recent example I can think of was a statutory increase in the number of radio & TV stations you can own at a time. But there’ve got to be more recent examples.

    Does CAFTA count, or is that too indirect?

  17. VM,

    Thanks! All went well with the ceremony (which was outdoors, incidentally, so weather was a concern), but the sad part is that I don’t have any vacation until May (when I get all of it at once). So no honeymoon for the Libertates.

    We had a morning wedding, which meant that we skipped the open bar, but I strategically gave a bottle of Captain Morgan’s Private Stock (for my pirate guests) and a bottle of Woodford Reserve (for the freedom loving) to my groomsmen for stealthy redistribution.

  18. Sad thing is, Frank’s basically a big government socialist on most economic issues.

    No inconsistency there. Didn’t Mill also turn to socialism later in life?

  19. Love the site, but could you try to include the subjects’ full names in the articles? I’m not as immersed as some of you, and couldn’t be certain what “Frank” was being referenced until I jumped to the comments. Thanks!

  20. Love the site, but could you try to include the subjects’ full names in the articles? I’m not as immersed as some of you, and couldn’t be certain what “Frank” was being referenced until I jumped to the comments. Thanks!

    Hans.

  21. N Furter

  22. Just wondering…Isn’t this the samething he said a month or so ago??

    Another thing, I can’t believe for the life of me, that I’m nodding my head in agrement with Frank. Good lord this guy is Socialist.

  23. I know some people who are pretty libertarian on social issues

    Well, they’re usually only so libertarian on those issues. Kind of like Team Red folks and how they tend to have limits on how much they love free markets.

  24. joe, you flatter me.

    Check back in when he actually introduces the bill.

    And let me know exactly which chips he plans to cash to get it to pass.

    Introducintg bills is cheap. Spending capital to get them votes is another altogether.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d love this bill to pass even one house, but I’m betting it won’t even make it out of Barney Frank’s own committee.

  25. Everyone wants to claim to be a libertarian these days. After the term gets watered down and perverted, can we have ‘liberal’ back?

    Kind of like how anybody who thinks we need to collect taxes is now a “socialist”?

  26. We’ll trade you “liberal” if we can have “economic freedom” back.

    And you have to give up your easement over calling your opponents “fascists.”

  27. Well, we do retain the international rights to “liberal”. Kind of like Pepsi with 7-Up.

  28. I hope the law is repealed I miss playing poker for money online was a great stress reliever and a might bit profitable.

    But mark my words the good Rep Frank has already been paid off and when the repeal comes and onlne gaming is legel all the domestic casinos will be ready to get their cut of the action this time around. And of course so will Frank unfortunetly!

    Freedom is just another word for expensive living these days without any freedom.

  29. In Reason’s utopia, you may not have healthcare, a 40-hour work week or be able to use the post office but dammit, your right to rack up credit card debt while engaging in soul-crushing vices shall not be infringed upon!

  30. I like this, a trite phrase trade. I would like to broker a blockbuster trade:

    If the left would give up “on the backs of the poor,” “verbal violence,” “reproductive freedom” and “health care is a right”……. I think I could get the right to give up “soaking the rich,” “cut, run, surrender, wave the white flag,” “Clintonian” and “liberal media.”

  31. “In Reason’s utopia, you may not have healthcare, a 40-hour work week or be able to use the post office but dammit, your right to rack up credit card debt while engaging in soul-crushing vices shall not be infringed upon!”

    And trolls don’t have their comments deleted.

  32. I am not a gambler [my other vices more than compensate for this] so don’t know what’s really going on with online gambling.

    A quick google search shows that are still plenty of sites willing to let people gamble. Is this prohibition working ? Is it even possible to enforce ?

  33. In Reason’s utopia, you may not have healthcare, a 40-hour work week or be able to use the post office but dammit, your right to rack up credit card debt while engaging in soul-crushing vices shall not be infringed upon!

    Works for me!

  34. Vicey,
    The most recent problem is that the current ban forces banks that do business in the US or with US Citizens to not accept business from “illegal” gambling sites. That coupled with the arrest of “illegal” gambling site owners/CEOs who land on American soil makes for a long and convoluted backstory but there are more than a few articles here on Reason(and elsewhere on the ‘net) to satisfy your curiosity. Suffice it to say that “illegal” is only in the US and a fair number of these sites are located outside of US soil, namely Britain and Antigua.

  35. In Reason’s utopia, you may have healthcare that is not taxpayer funded, a work week that is as long or short as you need it to be and not be forced to only use the post office but dammit, your right to rack up credit card debt while engaging in what ever the hell you want to do shall not be infringed upon!

    There, fixed it for you. Of course, keep in mind that Credit Cards are not forced upon people, at least I have never had one sent to me that I didn’t ask for and have never charged anything to one that I didn’t want. How about you?

  36. I’m convinced that politicos like Frank stumble upon the right course of action now and then purely by accident. Their political philosophy is so utterly inconsistent that there is no rhyme or reason to it. One day they’re in favor of repealing an unjust gambling bill, the next day they’re clapping speech restrictions on video games or mulling a tax on out-of-state internet purchases. I’ll believe Frank is a libertarian the day I hear an original thought from Nancy Pelosi.

  37. I’m ok with no motorcycle helmets PROVIDED you don’t outsource the extra risks in your doing so to the taxpayer.

    In other words: you have to prove you have sufficient insurance to cover your lifetime care after you get in an accident and turn into a drooling idiot after a head injury.

    Also–posting a bond of $5000 to pay whoever has to clean up your brains off the road and remove the body.

    (I also think that drunken drivers who get in crashes should be charged for the cost of the cleanup, police time, etc. But that’s just me.)

  38. What I spend on soul crushing vices is .00000000000000001th a percent of the vices politicians use MY MONEY to support their vices with. I have no say in those matters I just have to pay and shutup. When it comes to gambling I decide and just a little FYI I made over 2 grand off a $50 poker deposit. So fucking soul crushing to cash in and go to the Bahamas with the money let me tell you, I am not sure how I survived.

    Now go back to you Socialist commune I don’t want nor need your nanny state mentality to survive, trying to survive with it is already proving impossible!

  39. And you have to give up your easement over calling your opponents “fascists.”

    Easment’s run with the land not the owner.

    Get rid of your fascists and we will sign a vacation waiver.

  40. I’m ok with no motorcycle helmets PROVIDED you don’t outsource the extra risks in your doing so to the taxpayer.

    In other words: you have to prove you have sufficient insurance to cover your lifetime care after you get in an accident and turn into a drooling idiot after a head injury.

    Putting aside the question of “why should that default to the taxpayer, anyway,”, have you thought this idea through?

    What stops it from being applied to things other than riding a motorcycle without a helmet? Why not apply it to riding a motorcycle at all? Driving a car?

    What would allow that bum on the corner to get away with not being able to pay his lifetime medical bills?

  41. “In a number of areas, I am a libertarian,”

    Not a high number, I think.

  42. grumpy-

    In other words: you have to prove you have sufficient insurance to cover your lifetime care after you get in an accident and turn into a drooling idiot after a head injury.

    I think you have this backwards… A helmet often means the rider survives with long-term paralysis or other costly injuries when a non-helmet wearing rider would have died at the scene.

    Also–posting a bond of $5000 to pay whoever has to clean up your brains off the road and remove the body.

    Around here, “roadkill” is taken care of by the tax-payer financed County Engineering Dept.

  43. Not a high number, I think.

    You rang?

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