As the United States begins to construct a new state-by-state online gambling legal network — similar to the EU’s nation-by-nation regulatory structure, but without the larger EU approval of online gambling — some new voices are appearing to demand to halt this trend, favoring instead a national online gambling framework.
And that means dismantling the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, which doesn’t make online gambling illegal, but instead seeks to cut off igaming at the knees by criminalizing online gambling payment processing.
Joining such prominent online gambling advocacy groups as iMEGA, the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, and the PPA (Poker Players Association), a new group called the U.S. Online Gaming Association (USOGA) was recently formed.
The USOGA was created by leading online gaming companies like PKR and Sportingbet, for the specific reason of opening the U.S. market to international online gaming companies — before it’s too late.
“The official launch meeting was held at the ICE expo,” writes Adam Baker at CasinoAdvisor.com. “[Melanie] Brenner [the group’s leader] confirmed that PKR, Sportingbet and Secured American Games were the first three companies to commit financial and technical support to USOGA.”
The group wants to enlist other online gaming companies to help fight the UIGEA in the U.S.; “A Feb. 14 deadline has been set for companies to commit financial support and become members of the new trade association,” notes the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The new group is getting a fair amount of media exposure, which is a good first step toward accomplishing its goals. It remains to be seen whether it can channel enough money into the U.S. lobbying network to stand a chance of changing American online gambling laws.