US Online Gambling Hearing Scheduled For Tomorrow
Tuesday could be a big day for the millions of online poker players that were abandoned by the US government back in 2006. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of that year led to Black Friday earlier this summer, where Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars executives were indicted in the US.
Since that day, millions of US players have been left out in the cold with no place to safely play poker online. Tens of thousands of these players were professionals, making a living and paying taxes playing poker. Now, they have joined the ranks of the unemployed, contributing to the job loss that has occurred since the 2008 economic recession.
On Tuesday, these poker players, along with poker enthusiasts all across the country, will be watching intently on a hearing in the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. The hearing is a first step towards overturning the UIGEA and regulating an industry that many lawmakers believe could be a major factor in turning around the economic climate in the US.
One of the speakers expected to testify at the hearing is Poker Players Alliance Chairman Alfonse D'Amato. The chairman will speak to the growing number of people in the country that enjoy playing poker online, and also to the economic impact the activity could have in the US.
"I am cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a bill coming out of this committee hearing that would eventually pass the entire Congress," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "Unlike in the past, this push is being made by Conservatives that previously opposed online poker regulations, so from that standpoint, this is an important first step."
Representative Joe Barton will introduce the bill, although there will likely not be much done on advancing the legislation on Tuesday. The markup phase and voting on the bill will likely happen towards the end of the year. It is still possible that the legislation could pass before the start of 2012.
If that happens, it would take time to implement the regulatory structure of an industry that has become one of the most profitable in the world over the past decade. Countries across the globe have turned to online gambling as a way to cut their economic troubles, and the plan has worked in many of these countries.
The European Commission has stressed to member countries of the European Union that they should begin working on their laws that either prohibit, or create a monopoly, with existing online gambling laws. Several European countries have started to implement regulations over the past two years, although the US is considered by many analysts to be the largest market for online gambling in the world.
October 24, 2011
Posted By April Gardner
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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