Online Poker

Online Poker Regulation is Coming

by Omar

Last week a very important milestone was reached regarding the future of online gambling and internet poker. The long-standing and oft-discussed Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, or HR 2267 for short, passed the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 41-22.  The often delayed and much talked about bill was seen by online poker players in this country at our best opportunity to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which had effectively put the clamps on many online gambling sites that had been servicing US-based customers. It was a long and complicated road and by the time it passed, there were 18 amendments attached to it.  While gaining steam, HR 2267 has gained 70 co-sponsors along the way and the landmark move could be the moment many had only hoped for.

As you might expect, the Poker Players Alliance, who had spent countless hours on Capitol Hill lobbying for change was jubilant.  In a statement made to the press, PPA Director John Pappas said 

“I was really pleased with the overwhelming majority and the bipartisan support for the legislation. If you look back just four short years ago, the House passed an Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)-like prohibition by a wide margin. Just two years ago, we had a bill defeated on a 32-32 stalemate. Now, we have a pro-internet poker bill that passed by a 2:1 margin.”

So what happens now? Well, the process is far from over as it could take months or even years before a fully regulated framework is in place. After all, four years after it’s passing, the UIGEA wasn’t exactly a well oiled machine, raising more questions than answers.  However, it can not be denied that this is a vital first step in what we all hope will be a successful endeavor for online poker players everywhere.

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