Archive for the ‘Poker Law’ Category

Jul 28 2010

House Makes History With Vote on Online Gambling Bill HR 2267

written by: James Comments: 1

For this first time in American history today, Congress has turned in a positive vote on a bill concerning regulation and licensure of online gambling, including online poker. In fact, today marks the first time that a federal decision making body has ruled in favor of online gambling regulation. Barney Frank’s bill was substantially supported by Democrats in the House Financial Services Committee – who voted 34-4 in favor of the passage of the bill. Republicans were nowhere near as supportive with a 7-18 vote. With this vote, there is an indication that the road to licensed and regulated online poker is ready to be traveled. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done before Congress will approve the bill for law.

There were a total of 14 amendments attached to the bill that outlined the new rules for online gambling – if a law were to be made in favor of online gambling regulation. Most amendments approach online poker exactly as would be expected – to prevent gambling addiction and gambling on credit. One amendment requires that online poker sites put into place technology that allows players to put loss limits into place. This is not the first time that limits have been used by major companies to combat addiction. Blizzard Entertainment, the company responsible for the popular MMORPG World of Warcarft, squashed parental law suits after their inclusion of time limiting software that parents could use to block their children from excessive online video game play.

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The Wednesday, July 21st hearing on Barney Frank’s proposed bill to license and regulate online poker and gambling in the United States resulted in the scheduling of a mark up, or vote hearing on the bill for next Tuesday, July 28th – fulfilling Frank’s December promise to push Internet gambling legislation to a mark up by the end of July 2010. This congressional hearing, if successful, will mean that the bill will be sent to the House of Representatives to possibly advance farther in Congress. This is the same process that all bills go through before they are ultimately rejected or passed into law.

During Tuesday’s mark up, changes could be made to the bill that clarify some of its main points or add to the overall legislation that it could enact. Although nowhere near passage yet, the progress of Frank’s HR 2267 is a good sign for Internet poker players as a mark up hearing is a much more serious and intensive session that many bills never reach.

The proposed bill – called the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act – will provide a legal frame work that all gambling web sites, including on poker sites, will have to follow if they wish to serve residents of the United States. Within the bill, there are several regulations that prevent underage gambling and monitor problem gambling – two problems that many opponents of online gambling will want resolved before considering the online gambling regulation in the United States. Although there will be some difficult regulations included in the bill, its passage will set a precedent for the legalization of online poker in the United States and the reentering of some major online players that withdrew from the US market after the UIGEA was enacted in 2006.

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Jul 21 2010

House to Meet Today on Licensing and Regulating Internet Gambling

written by: Will Comments: Comments Off

At 2 p.m. today, the House Financial Services Committee will meet to discuss the bill by Barney Frank (Democrat, Massachusetts) to replace the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act – after criticism by other representatives such as Shelly Berkley, who referred to the UIGEA as a “bust.” Although Frank had previously vowed to force a committee vote by July, this meeting will simply be an opportunity for the committee – of which Frank is the head – to hear testimony on behalf of the bill and discuss the specific legislation that it would enact, if passed. If the bill is successful, the UIGEA may face a repeal and the United States could begin treating online poker similarly to the way in which it is handled in countries like the United Kingdom.

The promise by Frank to bring the bill to the House was in December of last year when, during a previous hearing on the bill (HR 2267), it was discussed but with no further action. Earlier this May, The Democrat from Washington, Jim McDermott introduced a similar bill that would impose taxes on online gambling activities – thus legalizing and regulating all online gambling activities. Until this month, the House has not made any statements on their position on online gambling or its licensing or regulation since the December meeting.

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Jul 12 2010

Who Else Wants Online Poker Legalized?

written by: John Comments: Comments Off

PPAThe Poker Players Alliance (a nonprofit organization that advocates the rights of poker players) has found a new way to leverage professional support. PPA released an application that you can find at the Apple App Store; just search for “Poker Players Alliance.” This app will work on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. The cost is only $0.99 and supports the poker playing population with up-to-date news and laws, as well as a means to promote the passing of new laws.

After announcing the new app, the Executive Director of the PPA, John Pappas, said, “Our members are extremely tech savvy and always looking for more ways to show their support for protecting their rights to play poker. The PPA iPhone app, like our Tweet for Poker website, provides a cutting edge tool for our members to quickly and easily show their support for online poker.”

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Jun 1 2010

The June 1st UIGEA Deadline

written by: John Comments: Comments Off

The fate of online gambling in America will soon be decided. What actually is going to happen is still anyone’s guess. Neither the proponents of online gambling nor its opponents are giving up. So the question might be whether the Treasury and the Department of Justice will allow a second extension in the carrying out of the UIGEA rules. If this does not happen, then the UIGEA rules will be implemented, and this will be an immediate setback for online gambling in America. The fight for online gambling won’t stop, but it will become a harder fight.

John Pappas, Executive Director of the PPA (Poker Players Alliance), states that even if the UIGEA regulations come into effect on June 1st, the industry would not see the same fallout as what occurred four years ago following the law’s passage. “We don’t suspect this to be a doomsday scenario for online poker. To be clear, it is not going to be unlawful for you, the poker player, to play Internet poker. Nothing in the UIGEA makes it illegal for individuals to play.”  If you remember, following the passing of the UIGEA in 2006, online poker sites like PartyPoker and Pacific Poker left the market entirely. Pappas also said, “Nothing should stop you from getting your money off of an online poker site. In fact, the UIGEA prescribes that it would not affect payouts to players. Deposits [are] the open question and we believe that there will always be mechanism for players to deposit money through responsible channels online.”

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