Online Poker

New Hope in Overturning UIGEA

by Poker Team

With the election of Barack Obama, there are many in the online poker community that view this changing of the guard as a possible precursor to the removal or at least modification of the controversial UIGEA which puts a gigantic damper on the online poker world. As originally passed, the UIGEA quietly slipped into the night through a possibly sneaky manner through Congress but there lies hope that the new administration could be in a unique position to overturn it.

Midnight Rule Act

Early last week, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York reintroduced the Midnight Rule Act. This act basically allows that all changes made by the outgoing White House within the last three months would need final approval by the incoming administration. This is a safeguard against any abuses of poker by the outgoing President and cabinet. This measure was reintroduced because outgoing President Bush tried to do just that, “As expected, the Bush Administration has, in its final moments, proposed a series of retrograde and dangerous regulatory changes,” Nadler said.

Nadler went on to state that:

“I am reintroducing the Midnight Rule Act to reverse President Bush’s last minute attempts to weaken key legal protections within our federal agencies. We cannot sit idly by as this Administration quietly makes last-ditch efforts to erode civil liberties, empower polluting industries, threaten the environment and weaken a woman’s right to choose.”

If the bill is approved the incoming administration would provide a checks and balances into George Bush’s final policy changes made in his waning days in office. This measure is not done solely to undermine the outgoing President, rather to ensure everything is on the up and up. This has become necessary as Bush has made an inordinate amount of changes in his final days in office. One of those, the UIGEA regulations were one of those last-minute pushes made by the administration at the end of 2008. The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve finalized the rules for the UIGEA in November, falling right into the 3-month window of review.

As we all know, the UIGEA restricts deposits and withdrawals from banks to online gambling sites, including online poker rooms and online casinos. The controversial bill has faced a lot of criticism for putting banks in charge of policing online gambling transactions and for impeding the privacy of people who choose to gamble online.

Congress will need to pass this bill quickly in order to give President Elect Barrack Obama’s administration the power to review any of these issues when it comes into power following his January 20th inauguration. Although poker players are hopeful, this is by no means a guarantee of changes to come.

Comments on this entry are closed.