Archive for the ‘Poker Law’ Category

Dec 13 2010

The Pros and Cons of Reid’s Poker Hiatus

written by: Sara Comments: 4

Over the past week there has been a lot of talk regarding Harry Reid’s bill for online poker being inserted into the lame duck sessions going on in Congress currently. Regardless of what your personal opinion is on the bill, if you’re an online poker player, there are some big pros and cons to it being passed.

The Pros and Cons:

We thought it would be a good idea to simplify the 75 page draft (update 12/14: current draft is at 172 pages!) of Reid’s bill into a pro/con list of the large issues to affect the industry and you. Reid Bill Pro Con List

What are providers and people in the industry saying about Reid’s Bill?

PokerStars and FullTilt are reportedly in favor of this bill seeing as how since the enactment of UIGEA, dealing with payment processors is getting increasingly difficult. Although, there has been no official word on this and all Internet Poker sites have been very quiet during the whole ordeal it’s thought to be a mixed bag for them. The passing of UIGEA in 2006 was something they’ve been wanting overturned, but perhaps are hesitant to completely welcome this way of doing so as it will put them out of the US market for over 15 months.

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Dec 8 2010

Harry Reid Pushing for Online Poker Legalization in US?

written by: Will Comments: 6

According to reports from trusted Washington insiders, Harry Reid (US Senate Majority Leader, D., Nevada) is attempting to attach online poker legislation to a tax cut package proposed by President Barack Obama. Entitled the Internet Poker Act of 2010, the legislation would attempt to legalize and regulate online poker within the United States. Reid hopes to introduce the act before December 17, when the current congressional session will end.

A rough draft of the Internet Poker Act was published in the Las Vegas Review Journal last week. If the act becomes law, US poker players will be able to look forward to a more stable, albeit more restricted online poker environment.

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Dec 1 2010

eWalletXpress Ends US Operations

written by: James Comments: Comments Off

eWalletXpress, one of the last remaining e-wallet services available to US online poker players, has announced that it will no longer be supporting the United States market. This announcement came as a result of the enforcement of the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), an attachment that was quietly added to the Safe Ports Act in 2006. The Safe Ports Act itself deals with homeland security, while the UIGEA is intended to prevent online poker rooms, casinos and sportsbooks from accepting financial transactions from US players.

The UIGEA has been met with controversy since its inception, as it lumps online poker, something many consider to be a skill game, in with online casino gambling and high stakes games of random chance. Though the UIGEA was passed in 2006, it wasn’t enacted until June of 2010. Several online poker rooms (Party Poker, most famously) and poker banking services pulled out of the US market over the past four years, prior to the UIGEA’s enforcement. Now that the bill has been enacted, we can expect more closures and denials of service for US players. Unfortunately, eWalletXpress is among the first of these losses.

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Nov 17 2010

Chili Poker to Enter US Market

written by: Will Comments: Comments Off

With the loss of Congress to the Republicans, it seems very unlikely that online poker regulation or licensing is going to be an option in the near future. Of course, this makes it even more unlikely that any further bans will be placed on online poker play in the US. Nobody at Congress can dare argue that the UIGEA has been a successful piece of legislation and it seems that bigger problems are looming for the United States than online poker play. Without licensing and regulation, the online poker industry’s fears that the government would take over the industry in the US have vanished.

Of course, this also means that some anxious poker rooms that were looming on the sidelines will now likely enter the US market to draw away some traffic from some of the big names like Full Tilt. The first of these new poker sites is Chili Poker, a French online poker room that has recently announced that they plan to create a US friendly online poker room within a year. However, Chili Poker will be using a subscription plan for players in order to avoid delays in opening their site amidst the still strict US online poker regulations.

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Nov 4 2010

Despite Loss of House to Republicans, Barney Frank Reelected

written by: James Comments: Comments Off

It’s a good news, bad news situation for supporters of online poker licensing and regulation in the United States. On Tuesday, polls opened for the entirety of the House of Representatives and around 1/3 of the Senate. When the polls closed, Barney Frank had been reelected with a 54% favorable vote. However, the House was conceded to the Republicans – likely meaning that Frank will not be chosen to continue as the Financial Services Committee chairman.

This could mean a loss of steam for this year’s progress towards online poker legislation in the United States. While poker players are still split between whether or not the US government should take over the online poker industry, the loss of such a powerful advocate of online poker will likely result in some loss of momentum.

One of the defining factors of Frank’s legislation with regards to online poker is protecting the player from fraud and other illegal activity, something from which all online poker players can draw some benefit. Most notable of Frank’s contributions to online poker regulation was his introduction of the bill HR 2267. Although the mark up of this bill was completed earlier this year in July, the House has yet to address it.

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