UIGEA Update: New U.S. Attorney General Sworn In
February 3, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — This morning, Eric Holder was officially sworn in as the newest U.S. Attorney General.
Holder has been greeted with skepticism among the online gaming industry, who feel that he may be unlikely to take any action against UIGEA despite the Obama Administration's general eagerness to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration. Even though Obama has signalled a willingness to hear options about overturning UIGEA, his new attorney general, Eric Holder, would be in charge of any such initiative, and all indications are that Holder would continue to uphold the UIGEA rather than attempt to reverse it.
Holder's former law firm, Covington & Burling, has been known to lobby for the NFL, an organization that is strongly opposed to the legalization of online gambling. (According to PokerListings.com, the NFL still owes him about $2.5 million in compensation.) The same law firm also lobbied against legislation that intended to block enforcement of UIGEA, including Barney Frank's H.R. 5767.
As if this weren't enough, Holder all but promised that he would continue to uphold the UIGEA during his confirmation hearings, as illustrated in this exchange with Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl:
KYL: But the question that I'd ask and wanted just to get confirmed for the record is that you indicated that under your leadership the Department of Justice would continue to aggressively enforce the law against the forms of Internet gambling that DOJ considers illegal.
HOLDER: That's correct, Senator.
KYL: And then we discussed the regulations that were issued recently, actually, jointly by the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department in consultation with the attorney general.
The regulations primarily try to go at the problem by thwarting the payments for unlawful Internet gambling — in other words, to shut off the cash flow.
And I mentioned the fact that they were already beginning to spend millions of dollars in an effort to try to undo these regulations somehow and hope that you would — and you indicated you would — oppose efforts to modify or to stop those regulations, and, of course, continue to be vigilant in enforcing those regulations to shut off the flow of cash from this illegal activity. Is that your intention?
HOLDER: Yes, that is my position. That's what I will do.
KYL: Yes, thank you, and I appreciate that very much. And we could talk a lot more about the pernicious nature of Internet gambling, but in view of the time here, let me move on.
The above quote was reprinted from Pokerlistings.com; click here to read the original article.