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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Q & A: Stan Bergstein

30 April 2007

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., let in a ray of hope for the Internet gambling industry and gamers alike when, on Thursday, he introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007, a bill aimed at regulating Internet gambling in the United States.

IGN spoke to Stan Bergstein, executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America Inc., who shared his personal reaction to the introduction of the bill. His opinion in no way reflects that of the Harness Tracks of America.

IGN: What are your thoughts on Barney Frank's bill?

Stan Bergstein: First of all, do I believe people should be able to spend their money, including their gambling money any way they want, which Barney Frank does? I absolutely do. I guess, like him, I consider myself a Libertarian and I certainly don't think there should be restrictions on how people choose to spend their own money.

Do I think that prohibition of any kind will work? No, I don't anymore than it worked 75 years ago when they (U.S. government) tried to prohibit booze. I just don't think that in today's world, wide prohibition is going to work because, for one thing, I don't think they can administer it.

I have a lot of questions on the bill. I'm wondering who's going to get taxed, how much they're going to get taxed and how they're going to get taxed.

I think that they're going to have a hard time technically ascertaining whether someone is a minor or not, and whether they're a compulsive gambler or not, both of which he (Frank) expresses as parts of his legislation.

One question I have: What if a country other than Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua)--Great Britain, for instance--decides to test the resolve of the World Trade Organization? That's going to affect the United States' stand, whereas it's not going to affect it with Antigua.

I always have concerns about any legislation, particularly gambling legislation, remaining unchanged. Right now racing is in a very comfortable position with its exemption from the bill (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). Whether that can be maintained or held or sustained, I don't know, but it would certainly be a concern of mine.

My own personal view: I think he's floating it now to see what kind of support he can generate, and it will be interesting to see if and how much he can generate. I don't think Barney Frank has any illusions about getting this thing passed at the moment. But, he took quick action on what he said he was going to do, so obviously he's sincere and has resolve in what he's going to try to do. But I think he's a realist as well as a Libertarian.

Q & A: Stan Bergstein is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda