Online Poker

AGA Bids to Legalize Online Gaming

by Poker Team

Perhaps taking a cue from professional players coyly holding pocket Aces, the AGA this week announced its plan to make a bid to legalize online gaming sometime in 2009. The curious timing of the statement comes on the heels of government’s announcement of the regulations that will govern the controversial UIGEA. However, AGA spokespeople say the move has nothing to do with the long awaited government outlining of the regulations and more to do with shrinking profit margins as they look for new revenue streams during these tough economic times. AGA members have been feeling the pinch as many of their highest rollers have been hit the hardest in these tough times.

Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr., currently the AGA’s president and CEO, stated that internet gaming is a hot button topic that Congress will need to focus on in 2009. It is interesting to note however that not all AGA members share the same stance on the issue and they are in the midst of conducting an internal study to decide on their own official position on the matter. For example, the internal debate is expected to center on whether they will only push for legalization of certain forms of gaming or all of gaming.

It is rumored that Harrah’s would push for online poker whereas MGM is looking to include online casinos. As Harrah’s is the owner of the rights to the World Series of Poker franchise, they have a very vested interest in getting poker online legalized. As powerful an entity the AGA is in this country, they would appear to be the ones who possess the most ability in being able to get something done. In addition to that question, they will also be surveying the logistical implications of taxation and other forms of regulation. If they are able to present a viable argument on how this could be a win for all parties involved, legalized online gaming could come sooner than thought possible just a few short months ago.

What remains unclear is what, if any, effect these moves would have for online sports gambling, which is seen as one of the biggest banes of the government. Whatever the case may be, it is perhaps the case that the turbulent economic times we find ourselves living in may be the break that champions of online gaming have been anxiously awaiting.

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