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The Proposed Midnight Rule Act May Overturn Anti-gaming Legislation

by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
January 17, 2009

                With the Obama administration comprised of primarily Democrats, congressmen are seeking to reverse a number of conservative policies that would continue to impede on environmental and economic movements. A demand for the upcoming administration to apply the Congressional Review Act of 1996 in its decision-making process, may be a turn for the better when it comes to online casino gambling.

                Among other changes, the Democratic Party aims to overturn regulations that permit citizens to conceal weapons in national parks and government-funded hospitals to refuse doctors that have performed or currently perform abortions.

                The Congressional Review Act may not allow democrats to act quickly enough, and as such Representative Jerrold Nadler has asked for Congress to pass the “Midnight Rule Act.” This will allow legislatures to rewrite or overturn regulations that were passed in the last three months of George W. Bush’s presidency, including the reinstatement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

                Online casino advocates have asked for something similar in the final days of the prior presidency, and have found support from federal banking institutions. Because bank lobbyists have had a difficult time enforcing the UIGEA, due to the vague nature of the anti-gaming legislation, they are hoping that it will either be reversed or more clearly defined.

Senator Ron Wyden commented, “Congress is going to have to roll up its sleeves and review these midnight regulations, because it’s clear that they are part of a desire for the administration, as it heads out the door, to put some ideological trophies on the wall.”

“Congress needs to pass the Midnight Rule Act to give President-elect Barack Obama the ability to quickly reverse these policies and undo these last, right-wing gasps of the Bush administration,” Nadler added.