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Barney Frank to Retire from U.S. Congress

Legislation, 2011-11-29, by Ozone

Online poker is set to lose one of its top allies in Washington. Congressman Barney Frank announced this week that he will not seek re-election for his term which ends in January 2013.

The 71 year old has represented the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District since 1981. He was the first Congressman to voluntarily reveal that he is a homosexual. Online poker players know him better as a man who has fought for legalized online poker since the UIGEA was passed in 2006.

Frank has authored or sponsored at least seven pro-online poker bills since 2006. The most successful of those came in 2009, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act was voted out of the House Financial Services Committee by a margin of 41-22. The bill, which would have licensed and regulated online gaming companies, never made it to a vote on the House floor.

In an official statement, Frank cited two reasons for the retirement. First, congressional redistricting in his home state has changed his constituency and made his re-election less of a foregone conclusion. He also said that he feels it's harder to get anything done in Congress and that his efforts will be more effective from the outside.

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