Aug 10 2010

NFL to Stop Lobbying Against Barney Frank Bill

written by: John under News, Poker Law Comments: Comments Off

One of the strongest opponents of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, the National Football League, has decided to stop lobbying against the bill as a result of an amendment excluding sports betting from the bill. Representatives of the NFL were originally against the bill because they asserted that it would encourage betting on football games – something that the NFL has long opposed. Although not a certainty for the bill to become law, the lobbying lift by the NFL will likely add both strength and credibility to Barney Frank’s bill to allow it to proceed in Congress.

This is not the first time that the NFL has gotten involved in congressional hearings on gambling issues. For example, the NFL lobbied for an addition to the 2006 UIGEA that would technically allow for fantasy football activities (technically gambling). After this was added to the UIGEA, the NFL pushed for the bill to pass in Congress. In prohibiting sports betting, the NFL has, in effect, also taken a stand against online poker until they supported the recent Frank bill.

With the amendment favoring NFL lobbyists, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act will prohibit online gambling web sites that hope to obtain licensing from the United States from offering sports betting. However, this amendment does not prohibit parimutuel racing along with other types of sports betting activities. An important amendment for the bill’s passage, the addition was made by Representative Peter King of New York during the house’s Financial Services Committee hearing late last month.

The bill received a favorable vote on July 28th with 41 voting for and 22 voting against – enough to continue discussing and pushing the bill through other phases before it becomes law. According to Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of communication, the organization was “pleased with the outcome” following the passage of the amended bill through the house mark up.

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