Posted on Mar 16, 2009 by Gugel in General
The UIGEA was probably the worst thing that has ever happened to poker. In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was pushed through Congress and made American poker players jump through hoops to deposit and withdraw funds. It’s still legal for Americans to play online poker, but it made it illegal for banks and credit cards to transfer money to and from the poker sites. In other words, the UIGEA was legislation aimed at banks and credit cards and not at individual players.
Anyway, there’s some good news on the horizon. Poker players have an ally in Barney Frank, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. He’s consistently tried to push through legislation to repeal the UIGEA on the grounds that not only does the UIGEA breach civil liberties, but it hurts trade ties with the European Union (where several poker sites are based), and costs the United States over $52 billion in potential tax revenue. Not to mention it’s unclear if the UIGEA even applies to poker. There’s significant precedent in the U.S. legal system that suggests poker is a game of skill and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act does not apply. To further prove the point that poker is a game of skill, BlueFirePoker, a coaching site, extended a $1,000,000 challenge to Obama or any Congressmen/Senator.
Barney Frank is scheduled to try to push through some legislation to repeal the UIGEA in March or April 2009. Show your support by contacting your Represenative. Just give him or her a call and say you support Barney Frank and his efforts to repeal the UIGEA.
UPDATE: March 26, 2009
The European Commission announced that the UIGEA goes against rules set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and legal proceeding against the U.S. would be justified (though it would first attempt to negotiate a resolution). Further reading…
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