Monday, Nov. 10, 2008 | 3:37 p.m.
WASHINGTON -- One of Congress’ leading supporters of online gaming urged Bush administration officials today to hold off on instituting regulations to outlaw the games in the final days of the presidency.
Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, asked Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to postpone the "flawed" regulations until President-elect Barack Obama’s administration can review the rules.
Congress passed a bill in late 2006 essentially banning the online games, and the administration has drafted regulations needed to put the legislation in place. Frank’s committee passed a bill this fall that would stop the rules in favor of a new process.
“I am deeply disappointed to hear that your agency is proceeding with what I consider to be unseemly haste in issuing regulations implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,” Frank wrote.
“This midnight rulemaking will tie the hands of the new Administration, burden the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis, and contradict the stated intent of the Financial Services Committee.”
The new rules would take effect Jan. 19.