UIGEA Finalized May Affect Online Poker


Last week I wrote a blog and shared an exert from the PPA on the Bush administration’s attempt to finalize the horrid UIGEA legislation from 2006. Well, it has been given the stamp of approval which means banks will have until December 2009 to comply with the regulations from this act. Ironically, no one really knows what the regulations the banks need to comply with are, since the act fails to define them. In typical congressional fashion, the UIGEA really fails to define much of anything, mush less “unlawful internet gambling.” Pretty broad terminology to say the least.

However, the finalization of this act cannot in any way be deemed as good news for the online poker community. The only ray of sunshine in this storm cloud, is that the banking industry is so beleagured at this point, the chairman of the House Financial Servies Commity has asked that the Treasury not move ahead now saying it would “burden the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis.” Perhaps by the time this law is enforceable, congress will define exactly what conduct they are trying to prevent and we will have time to get online poker exempted from this ridiculous law.

In any case, here is a direct quote from the PPA on what we, as online poker players, can still do to have some effect.
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For any questions, concerns, or opinions,  please email Chris Wilcox at chriswilcoxpoker@gmail.com”Despite the efforts of the poker community, the opposition of the banks and the recent news exposing inappropriate influence by the White House, today the current administration finalized the UIGEA regulations to be made effective on January 19th the day before president-elect Obama officially takes office.  A copy of the final UIGEA regulations and the PPA’s response can be found on our Web site.

I am sure that you share my outrage over this last-minute “midnight rulemaking,” but I have not lost my drive to correct this injustice and I call on you to join me and the million strong PPA to help continue our fight.  In fact, the Politico Newspaper reports on 11/12    that Congressional leaders are already plotting legislation for next year that will undermine the White House’s “midnight” regulations.  We must make sure that UIGEA is part of this regulation reversal.

There are 4 things you should do to respond to the government’s actions:

1.   Call your Member of Congress and let him or her know how disappointed you are by the lame duck administration’s implementation of UIGEA and subsequent erosion of your personal freedom.

2.   Send an email to the Obama Transition team and tell President-elect Obama that once in office he should immediately turn back the UIGEA and other “midnight rules” issued by President Bush.
3.   Help the PPA help you.  Become a Premium Member of PPA if you are not already. For only $20 you help us be effective advocates for poker and your membership put us in a strong position to defend your rights.  If you are already a Premium PPA member please consider making an additional contribution to our fight.

4.   Forward this to your friends and stay updated on the latest developments regarding the UIGEA regulations.”
This message come from the chairman of the PPA, Alfonse D’Amoto. I suggest that we continute to make out feelings known on this issue and perhaps capitalize on the fact that a Demo-controlled Congress may be more likely to ammend or repeal this ridiculously arbitrary and vague Republican passed bill.


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