We noted several days ago that Minnesota was trying to force ISPs to block
gambling web sites, going down a path trodden by several other states. That path, of course, has always ended in failure after the courts have weighed in
. It looks like the courts will now get their chance to rain on Minnesotan politicians' parade, as a trade group has sued the director of the state's Department of Public Safety's Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division
to stop the ban. The group uses the suit to remind the director that he doesn't have the authority to mandate the blocking by ISPs, something the court will likely reinforce.
Meanwhile, online gambling's biggest friend in Congress, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, has again introduced legislation that would legalize and regulate online gambling in the US
. It sounds pretty much the same as his earlier attempts, all of which have failed, and would take the eminently reasonable step of allowing Americans to gamble in a regulated environment where they're protected by rules and law, as opposed to the current situation where they're pushed into the gray market (or worse), and have no protection. Frank also says he'll introduce separate legislation that will stop the enforcement of the UIGEA
, which says that banks must stop processing any transactions that fund online gambling. At least one big casino company seems to think Frank's got a good chance of finally getting his law through: Harrah's, which recently hired
the former CEO of major online gambling company PartyGaming to head its online efforts ahead of legalization.