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Congressman Frank slams online gambling ban

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Congressman Barney Frank (D. Mass) is mooting a bill to repeal America's online gambling ban enacted last year.

He told the FT yesterday that the ban of online gambling established by the Unlawful Enforcement Gambling Act (UIGEA) was one of the "stupidest laws" ever passed.

A spokesman for Frank, who is chairman of the House of Representatives, financial services committee, later told Reuters that his boss has not drafted a bill, much less considered when he might put it before Congress.

Pegged onto a larger security bill last October, UIGEA made it illegal for US banks to process payments to online gambling businesses located outside the US. Analysts caution that politicians might be reluctant to support "pro-gambling" measures.

Even so, the hint that the controversial ban might be lifted, allowing gambling firms to re-enter the lucrative US market, pushed up the price of gambling stocks. Shares of Sportingbet rose £3 to £58.75 while Partygaming's stock rose 4.75 pounds (12.5 percent) to £42.75, AP reports. ®

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