Online gambling bill provides for AG lawsuits

By John O'Brien | May 20, 2010


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - If Rep. Barney Frank's Internet gambling bill becomes law, state attorneys general will have the authority to bring lawsuits.

Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has introduced legislation that would overturn a 2006 bill passed by Republicans. A provision of the 48-page bill specifically mentions the role of state attorneys general in regulating online gambling providers.

"In any case in which the attorney general of a state, or any state or local law enforcement agency authorized by the state attorney general or by state statute to prosecute violations of consumer protection law, has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of that state has been or is threatened or adversely affected by a violation by a licensee... the state, or the state or local law enforcement agency on behalf of the residents of the agency's jurisdiction, may bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of that state or jurisdiction in a district court of the United States located therein, to enjoin that practice or enforce compliance..." the bill says.

Regulations included in the 2006 bill will soon take effect. Frank has said he hopes to get the bill moving in July.

The bill allows online gambling and puts regulations in place. Gambling on sporting events will still be prohibited.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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