Online Poker

Potential June 1st Doomsday Lurking for Online Poker

by Poker Team

This time of year is especially hectic in the poker world. Full Tilt Poker has just held its latest FTOPS and MiniFTOPS tournament series while Poker Stars is in the midst of its Spring Championship of Online Poker. However, the most important date does not belong to any big tournament, nor does it belong to the World Series of Poker. The big date circled on everyone’s calendar is June 1st. This is the deadline for the financial service industry to be compliant with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Originally, the deadline was for December 1, 2009, but lobbying efforts, in large part, thanks to the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) were able to push out the date to this summer. They did so believing that the extra time would enable UIGEA opponents to aggressively push out the legislation or at least reach some type of compromise.

However, this was not the be the case as more pressing matters have pushed any attempts at repeal to the backburner as Congressional members were addressing more globally vital matters. The apparent stalemate was been somewhat troubling for the online poker community, though PPA Director John Pappas urges to remind that not all hope is lost. Though he does understand and shares in the disappointment, he said

“As you know, the Poker Players Alliance was successful in delaying implementation of these final regulations. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much success legislatively, but the PPA hasn’t stopped. We have filed another petition [that has] the support of 22 members of Congress. We’re working to get broader support. This petition isn’t a delay, per se, but it would exempt poker and other peer-to-peer gaming from the enforcement of the UIGEA.”

So it would appear if you take Pappas at his word, that the ball is still rolling, be it slowly. Should June 1st come and go, no one really believes it would mark the end of online poker as we know it. After all, playing poker would not constitute breaking any laws and over the years, sites have become somewhat creative in being able to handle transactions from customers. However, it can not be understated how profound an effect the UIGEA had when it was first announced, as almost overnight, leading sites like Party Poker and Paradise Poker shut out their American client base.

These next two weeks could be a bumpy ride and online poker players are advised to hang on tight.

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