Future of Online Gambling in the USA

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Future of Online Gambling in the USA

January 20, 2009

Today Barack Obama is taking charge as the new President of the United States. Right through his campaign and in his acceptance speech he has promised to usher in an era of change. That hope has rubbed off on the online gambling fraternity.

One of the things that Obama did as President Elect was to set up a website where the US voters could suggest the changes that they wanted on a priority basis. This was called the Citizen’s Briefing Book. Number two on that list was legalizing online poker. One can assume that the intent was to cover other online gambling products as well. CardPlayer magazine reports that there were a total of 5,000 issues that were laid out on the website and that legalizing poker had the support from over 10,000 voters. AAHue, who took the lead in this matter by being the first to post on the 12th of January, laid out a four point agenda for the incoming President under the heading “Boost America’s Economy with Legal Online Poker”. His suggestions were as follows: allow online poker players to play legally and fearlessly; exempt poker from the provisions of the UIGEA; boost the American economy by letting online players and online operators make more money and pay more taxes and protect online players from unscrupulous operators by regulating the industry. The country has spoken feels the online gambling industry.

The Democratic Party has taken a step that has further raised the hopes of the online gambling fraternity. Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic Party Representative from New York, reintroduced the Midnight Rule Act when the legislators convened at the Capitol after the Christmas break. Now the incoming President can overturn laws enacted by the Bush government in the last three months. Nadler cited several retrograde changes made by the previous government in its last days. These include giving sweeping powers to federal agencies, allowing industries to pollute the environment and making abortion more difficult. Though Nadler did not mention online gambling, the passing of the UIGEA regulations does fall within the stated three month period.

The online gambling industry’s hopes in this connection may well prove unfounded. Though it has been widely publicized that Barack Obama loves to play poker, Derek Holder, his Attorney General to be, supports the UIGEA. Holder told Senator Jon Kyl, who was responsible for the UIGEA being pushed through, that he believed that the UIGEA was essential; that he would aggressively enforce the UIGEA against online gambling and would work to cut off funds to online gaming operators. So is it back to square one for the online gambling industry.

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