[x]

See Where You Rank in Washington

Barney Frank Talks Black Friday on the PocketFives Podcast[ return to main articles page ]

By: Pocket Fives    [See all articles by Pocket Fives]
Published on Apr 30th, 2011
One of the champions of personal freedom on Capitol Hill is Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA, pictured), who has served as the primary voice of the movement to legalize and regulate internet gambling in the United States. Given the magnitude of the events of Black Friday on April 15th in which the founders of three of the world's largest online poker sites were indicted on charges that included illegal internet gambling and bank fraud, we thought it would be fitting to bring Frank on the PocketFives.com Podcast for the third time to field listener questions about what poker players can expect going forward.

As you might have discerned by now, Frank was outraged at the events of Black Friday, which saw the U.S. Department of Justice indict 11 people with ties to PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and their payment processors.

Frank began his appearance by arguing, "The question of whether or not adults should be allowed, with their own money, to engage in an activity that they enjoy and that harms absolutely no one, and only engages other people who are engaging in it voluntarily, is such an easy question that it's frustrating we should even have to answer it."

Frank added that it vexes him that lawmakers still support the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was pushed into law in the final seconds of the 2006 Congress: "For my conservative Republican friends, I am really shocked that some of them still oppose this... It's an interference of personal liberty, it imposes incredibly excessive regulations on the banks, and it violates the freedom of the internet. It violates, it seems to me, just about every principle we have."

PocketFives.com has heard our membership say that the U.S. online poker crackdown could ultimately help expedite legislation to bring the industry completely above board in the USA. On that question, Frank conjectured, "I think it helps us... I would think the fact that it's now being enforced would help us to say, 'Hey, this is not some abstract issue now.'" So far, PokerStars is the only affected site to offer players the opportunity to cash out.

What should concerned online poker players and defenders of personal liberty do? "Write to your Representative and two Senators and then tell your friends to do the same thing," Frank advised. "Tell them that this is an intolerable intrusion on my freedom, a waste of government resources, and I insist you be supportive of the legislation that will repeal this."

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has set up a special Take Action page that resulted in 65,000 e-mails and letters being sent to lawmakers within a week of Black Friday. You can visit the PPA's website and e-mail your Representative and two Senators. While you're there, voice your displeasure on the Department of Justice's Facebook page.

Americans aren't the only ones upset. In the wake of the online poker indictments and website seizures, the nation of Antigua has lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization. Frank spoke about the impending sanctions: "It's another inconsistency from some of my conservative friends who are insistent that we abide by the World Trade Organization... They can't turn it on and off like a water faucet... I think the fact that we are in violation of the WTO will be helpful in terms of getting this changed."

Beginning earlier this year, the House Financial Services Committee, which has been Ground Zero for pro-internet gambling legislation from Frank, moved to Republican control under Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL, pictured). Bachus, who once made up a study saying that one-third of all collegiate online poker players have attempted suicide, has been steadfast in his support of the UIGEA.

On Bachus, Frank told the PocketFives.com Podcast, "He takes this very personally, and I think his personal view that gambling is a terrible thing can be admirable. What's not admirable is to impose that personal view on other people... Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) and I think we have a very serious chance... If enough people write to their Representatives and Senators, we'll get this thing done."

Campbell and Frank have introduced HR 1174, which would create a full licensing and regulatory framework for the internet gambling industry in the United States.

Other members of the community have expressed their shock that the Barack Obama (pictured) Justice Department would crack down on online poker players to this degree. Obama, a self-proclaimed poker player, was widely assumed to be friendlier to the industry, but that has not proven to be the case.

Frank reminisced, "I was surprised and disappointed. I am generally supportive of the President, but this is an area where he has disappointed me. I don't know if he knew they were going to be doing this... It is a terrible waste of resources, and you don't have to enforce every law."

Finally, we asked Frank about a draft bill legalizing online poker proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV, pictured) late last year. Frank, who called Reid's efforts "encouraging," explained, "When I started this, we had a lot of opposition from the casinos, and obviously you're not going to get something through the Senate with a Majority Leader representing Nevada because the casinos hate it. I think what happened is the casino operators finally understood it's just not in their interest to participate in a movement that says gambling is a terrible thing."

Check out the rest of this week's edition of the PocketFives.com Poker Podcast featuring House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Barney Frank.

Comments

  1. Let's see what happens, I don't have much faith.
  2. I dont have much faith either, chalk up another for the 1/3rd, bye guys

    I mean, i usually wouldnt say such a thing but [troll comment deleted]
     
  3. Barney Frank a "champion of personal freedom" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, now thats funny. Also, Frank says "...you don't have to enforce every law." Thats a good one to, just pick and choose which laws you want to enforce. Great Idea!!!!! Thats a recipe for American success.
  4.  
    Originally Posted by jeppg1111 View Post

    I dont have much faith either, chalk up another for the 1/3rd, bye guys

    I mean, i usually wouldnt say such a thing but [troll comment deleted]

    Wow . . .nice class jerk. REAL people are affected by this. You should be ashamed.
  5. 1/3 of online players attempt to commit suicide... obv way off its more like 2/3
  6. People like you think this is a bad thing look im sick to .That all my online playing is over but .I have started to play live and all i see is on line players in the poker room and thay are ( lost playing live)Thay cant play live. I have made a lot of $$$$ in the last 3 weeks thanks to you all.I now im no online player but get me in a game live face to face will see the true poker players.
  7. That's great for you Hitman - but I live 6 hours from the nearest cardroom...so what am I supposed today when I get the urge to play??And is it just me or are poker players the most pessimistic people on the planet?? Maybe the 1/3 number is right - to hear some of you talk - life isn't worth living anymore without online poker...
  8.  
    Originally Posted by hitman_2072 View Post

    People like you think this is a bad thing look im sick to .That all my online playing is over but .I have started to play live and all i see is on line players in the poker room and thay are ( lost playing live)Thay cant play live. I have made a lot of $$$$ in the last 3 weeks thanks to you all.I now im no online player but get me in a game live face to face will see the true poker players.

    Can you spell? For fuck's sake, I'm trying to understand what you're saying, but your lack of logic or any sense of punctuation.
  9. Let’s do this one more time. Ok!!!! As I can see now that we have all lost online poker in the U.S. Some of you think it is so bad. Look at it like I do. It will come back in time but now is the time to go live. Some people don’t have a poker room or casino in their states. But if you think you have what it takes go to one and see I have been a cash player for 6 years than I started playing online and as I know I’m not to good on online but as for live just in the past 3 weeks with a bankroll of $500.00 and 1-2 cash game. I have made $15,000 in 3 weeks. What you all don’t get is now is the time to take your game to the next level. Don’t let this online thing get you all down go for it play like a real poker player. For you online players that have never played live cash game now is the time to get out. Fined your game work it take the good with the bad.
  10. hey i got an idea, lets borrow money from china so we can spend it in the oil rich countries fighting wars we dont need, and get nothing in return but spending our paychecks in the gas tanks. Wait we got borrowed money left over lets shut down online poker, our citizens dont need any extra money. lets not make it legal, the gov doesnt need the money from taxes, afterall they can just borrow it. lending money to some one who can not pay it back, isnt that what just crashed
    our economey ? im glad they got it figured out. I am a self employed builder, with little or no work out there, and play online poker to help with the bills and they took that too! They wont be happy til every one losses there income. after all according to them to fix the econnomy you got to strip income and raise oil prices and taxes and raw materials ect.... good thing we got china.
     
  11.  
    Originally Posted by hitman_2072 View Post

    Let’s do this one more time. Ok!!!! As I can see now that we have all lost online poker in the U.S. Some of you think it is so bad. Look at it like I do. It will come back in time but now is the time to go live. Some people don’t have a poker room or casino in their states. But if you think you have what it takes go to one and see I have been a cash player for 6 years than I started playing online and as I know I’m not to good on online but as for live just in the past 3 weeks with a bankroll of $500.00 and 1-2 cash game. I have made $15,000 in 3 weeks. What you all don’t get is now is the time to take your game to the next level. Don’t let this online thing get you all down go for it play like a real poker player. For you online players that have never played live cash game now is the time to get out. Fined your game work it take the good with the bad.

    30 times your roll in 3 weeks playing 1-2 you must be real good.... ooops wait nm just a real big tool. No one wants to hear your made up stories from lala land.
  12. “Tell them that this is an intolerable intrusion on my freedom, a waste of government resources"

    oh Barney, if you truly believe that, then why the difference of opinion on healthcare reform? seems pretty hypocritical to me.
    Edited By: Silver Oak May 15th, 2011 at 04:22 PM
  13.  
    Originally Posted by HOUNDofHELL View Post

    Barney Frank a "champion of personal freedom" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, now thats funny. Also, Frank says "...you don't have to enforce every law." Thats a good one to, just pick and choose which laws you want to enforce. Great Idea!!!!! Thats a recipe for American success.

    Happens all the time. All kinds of laws are allowed to slide depending on the severity in nature from seat belt, to speeding, ect.. Where have you been...
 
Page 1 of 11

Return to Articles

Quick Navigation