Possibility of UIGEA Repeal Examined
March 31, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – When it comes to the status of the United States' Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), and the battle to get it overturned, there are a lot of factors in play, as we discuss regularly here at the CAP Newswire.
And over at Poker Player newspaper, writer Jennifer Newell offers a very helpful summary of just what the most important of those factors currently are.
Stressing that the UIGEA has had a disastrous effect on the revenue of the poker industry as a whole — and, therefore, on poker affiliates as well — Newell starts out by reminding us how offshore banks like Neteller had little choice but to abandon the U.S. after the UIGEA’s implementation. The effect was that the U.S. lost revenue not only from Internet poker, but also from the banking, advertising, and sponsorship services that go along with it.
Newell then makes a point of how the UIGEA has had a somewhat positive effect on the industry, at least in terms of engaging poker players to become more politically active. " … Through that progression of events,” she writes, “the poker industry spoke up. In turn, people of influence began to speak for us. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) grew into an organization of more than one million members and gained former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato as its Chairman. Members of the House of Representatives like Barney Frank and Ron Paul saw the UIGEA for the intrusive, prohibition-like law that it was and began efforts to reverse or change it. And for what it might be worth, the United States elected poker-playing President Barack Obama.”
She then moves on to the three key possibilities that anti-UIGEA advocates are most relying upon: President Obama’s power to overturn the Bush administration’s last-minute implementation of UIGEA in 2008; Barney Frank’s commitment to undermining and, if possible, eliminating the law; and the current economic recession that makes any added revenue streams immensely attractive — including, possibly, revenue that could be gained from taxing a newly legalized online poker industry.
Newell is wise enough to acknowledge that the success of these anti-UIGEA movements will depend heavily on “the unpredictability of politicians and the political process” — no small factor given the United State’s often contentious and closed-doors lawmaking processes. So, she ends on a note that calls on the players and affiliates to speak up for their rights:
“One major factor that will be necessary to sway the odds in the favor of the poker industry is the voices of the masses. It is more important than ever that we get involved, especially by letting members of Congress — and President Obama — know how we feel. The Poker Players Alliance provides easy access to governmental representatives. Visit www.PokerPlayersAlliance.org for more information.”