Powder Blue Report

News, finance, politics, sports, and fun from the west coast

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Deal Me In For Online Poker In The US

There is an effort underway in Congress to end the ban for online Poker here in the US and regulate it.  I say that it's about damn time.  There's no way that in a free country, that online Poker should be banned. 

For a little history on this issue, back in 2006, the Congress passed the Safe Port Act. A provision of the Safe Port Act was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The UIGEA, as it is more commonly known, made it illegal for financial institutions to process gambling payments, whether it is to a gambling site or to the player.

The UIGEA was meant to go into effect in December of 2009, but a legislative war had erupted nearly six months prior. Barney Frank (D-MA) had begun the fight to overturn the UIGEA. After gathering 65 cosponsors to his bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, Frank managed to delay the UIGEA by six months.

So we are getting closer to the June 1st deadline for this act to go into effect.  The purpose of this post is to raise awareness of this issue for everyone that loves freedom and doesn't like the government telling them what they can and cannot do in private with their own money as long as they are not hurting anyone else.  I'm sorry to say that there are a lot elected republicans that have this vicious authoritian streakin them that want to try and run everyone's lives. 

I hope our CA GOP Congressmen and women will get behind this effort to regulate online Poker and keet it safe and legal here in the US. 

Lastly I will post a press release I received from the Poker's Players Alliance...



the State of Play of Online Poker

  Within the next 6 weeks, Members of the House Financial Services committee will be taking a key vote on legislation related to internet gaming, which includes protections for online poker.  Major developments over the last month have created a winning hand for the game of poker.   

In November…the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury extended the deadline for enforcement of online gambling laws until May 1, 2010.  This extension was granted in order to give lawmakers and financial institutions more time to clarify definitions contained in UIGEA, as well as develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the law.   

In December…House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) held a hearing on his legislation to license and regulate online gambling, which will clarify that games of skill like poker (that are already legal offline) are protected under the law.  More congressional action is expected shortly in order to accommodate the time frame granted by the Fed and Treasury, and now is a vital time to ensure Members of Congress are educated on the state of poker and how this legislation will impact the right of all American’s to play online. 

Key Points on Financial Services Legislation 

Enforcing the Law to Protect Consumers - Millions of U.S. consumers currently play poker online through offshore sites, outside of American oversight and thus offering no consumer protections.  A recent study conducted by Harvard professor and former law enforcement officer Malcolm Sparrow concludes that a prohibition on online gambling would only serve to push online gambling underground and away from any law enforcement protections.  Simply turning a blind eye to protecting American consumers, especially children and problem gamblers, is not a solution. 

Increasing Tax Revenue and Economic Benefits - Attempting to prohibit online gambling sites is an impossible task, with sites popping up off shore and away from American law enforcement.  These sites bring with them a considerable amount of jobs that are leaving the U.S. to countries with more refined gambling laws.  Additionally, more than $50 billion of tax revenue is being left on the table or sent to other countries – funding that could be used to pay for health care, schools, and community interests.   

Protecting Internet Freedom - Through licensing and regulation, the rights of individuals to play poker at a time and place of their choosing can be protected, all while keeping those who don’t have that right – namely children and problem gamblers – off these sites.  As the Harvard study specifically states, technologies that are currently available and are being used in other countries can reduce the risks associated with underage and problem gamblers, money laundering, fraud, privacy and security. 




Post a Comment

<< Home