Barney Frank: Forget The Recession, I Still Want To legalise Poker


As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank plays an important role in the future of financial market regulation. But that’s not the only thing on his agenda. Frank is also a believer — and a particularly eloquent one — in legalizing online poker. And the financial crisis will not derail that agenda:

FT: Mr Frank said he also expected anti-gambling regulations, rushed through in the dying weeks of the Bush administration, to be included among the measures Congress will look to rescind.

A Democrat-led Congress and a more liberal political climate is persuading the Massachusetts congressman to make his twin-pronged assault on an issue that he said bore similarities to prohibition in the 1920s and 30s.

Barney Frank is right. Criminalizing online gambling is exceptionally dumb, and only encourages gamblers to use shadier payment providers, sites, or higher-margin brick-and-morter casinos, who line the pockets of the anti-online-gamblign moralists. Let’s hope he can make some headway.