Instrastate Online Gambling May Pass Before the UIGEA is Repealed

by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
April 13, 2009

              It is beginning to look as though the decision to allow intrastate online gambling will be made before a decision to allow or repeal the UIGEA is made. While the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act specifically prohibits intrastate online casino gambling transactions, individual U.S. states have every right to regulate and license online gambling websites within their borders. California, for example, has prepared a bill that would license online casino gambling and Texas, New York, Florida and New Jersey have are in various stages of similar legislation.

                Washington is the only U.S. state that specifically prohibits online casino gambling, but the UIGEA has put several states into the thinking that they do not have the right to regulate the industry within their own borders. Vermont, North Dakota and New Hampshire have placed blocks on internet lottery purchases, despite that form of online gambling having been exempt from the UIGEA.

                In California, New Jersey and a handful of other states, talks have ensued over the possible regulation over online casino gambling. Should these states institute systems for regulating online casinos, the UIGEA will become more of a hindrance to U.S. law than ever before, and perhaps give internet gaming advocates the case they need to have the law overturned.

                Meanwhile, April is upon us, and it has been one month since Congressman Barney Frank vowed to reintroduce legislation that would overturn the ban on internet gambling in a “couple weeks.” Many online casino gambling advocates have grown increasingly frustrated with Frank who has been an opponent of the UIGEA since its inception.

                “Representative Frank has been battling for us and has tried several times to have the new law overturned,” said online player Max E. “But I know I had hoped that he would have already succeeded this way I can play at whatever casino I want.”

                As the UIGEA is still in motion, more casinos have exited the U.S. market, leaving many American gamers disenfranchised with the Congressman in his attempts to repeal the ban. The U.S. Department has been consistent in its fight against online casino gambling, bringing legal action against online casino operators – even those that exited the market with the inception of the UIGEA in 2006.

                “I only play at online casinos on a casual basis,” said Fran H. “Some of the casinos I play at I can’t send my friends to, because they don’t accept US players anymore. I wish it wasn’t like this.”

                The last major action of Representative Frank’s proposed legislation, HR 6870 or the Payments System Protection Act, was in October of last year. The bill was introduced “to ensure that implementation of proposed regulations under subchapter IV of chapter 53 of title 31, Unites States Code, does not cause harm to the payments system,” and to ensure that upon the effective date of its passing the UIGEA “shall cease to apply.”

                Frank, the chairman of the Financial Service Committee, is expected to introduce the legislation again later this month for further review. Frank can be reached via e-mail for any casino gambler wishing to contact the Congressman for more information by accessing 

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