Congressman Barney Frank's HR2267 Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection And Enforcement Act attracted its 66th co-sponsor this week when Ohio Democrat Charles Wilson signed on.
Observers are taking a generally bullish view on the prospects for the proposal due to the careful political approach that Frank's has so far taken in the composition of the bill and in steering its political progress. This, added to a growing need for tax revenues among many cash-strapped states and the growth of online gambling demand despite US enforcement efforts to stamp it out, are seen as indicators that the proposal has a better chance of passing than previous initiatives.
Several states are currently exercising the right to decide on Internet gambling within their own boundaries, adding more pressure for reform and the overthrow of the unpopular Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and its supporting regulations, which are due for implementation on June 1st.
Bi-partisan support for Congressman Frank's measure already includes many senior ranking politicians such as George Miller, Chairman of the Committee On Education And Labor; John Conyers, Chairman of the Committee Of The Judiciary; Charles Rangel, Chairman Of The Committee On Ways And Means; Edolphus Towns, Chairman of the Committee On Oversight And Government Reform; Pete King, ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee; and Ron Paul, Vice-Chairman of the Oversight And Investigations Subcommittee.
Wilson was elected to the House of Representatives by voters in the sixth congressional district of Ohio, and took up his Washington DC responsibilities in November of 2006, just after the passage of the UIGEA.
Two other Ohio Representatives have previously signed up for the Frank bill; Democrats Steve Driehaus and Tim Ryan.