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White House Hints at Change in Poker Laws

WASHINGTON - JULY 5:  U.S. President Barack Ob...

The impact of UIGEA is well-documented, but it seems that there might be light at the end of that tunnel, as the White House responded to a petition from US-based poker players at the weekend, and finally the increased lobbying seems to be having an effect.

The petition, entitled “We the People”, demanded changes in the law that makes it difficult for citizens of the US to play poker on the internet. The petition’s organizers probably didn’t expect any major changes in the near future, and definitely not as a direct result of the action, and as this is an election year there doesn’t seem to be any coming soon.

However, in response to the petition, the Obama Administration has hinted that a review of legislation that might take place in the future. Though the reply basically reiterates the reasons why UIGEA (which stands for Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed in 2006) was introduced in the first place, it seems to recognize the changes that the internet itself has undergone, concluding that “the administration will continue to examine this issue and is open to solutions that would help guard against the use of online gambling sites as tools for conducting illegal activities or preying on unsuspecting individuals to the extent that online gambling is permitted.”

The fact that this comes only a week after news broke that Chicago’s Senate leader wants to legalize online poker is particularly interesting, as it would seem to suggest that perceptions of online gambling are changing nationwide.

Senator John Cullerton has experienced some opposition, particularly from Republican quarters, but the White House’s response could imply that there it is open to a solution like the one presented in Illinois – perhaps it’s something to do with the revenue the Senator thinks legalizing internet gambling would bring?

A number of countries worldwide – notably the United Kingdom – already allow online poker, and as a result this has created a number of businesses, supporting a large quantity of jobs. Operators providing Texas Hold Em, iGame fast poker and many other variants have large user bases, including some Americans who are chancing it – taking risks is a big part of poker after all.

The full response to “We the People” can be found at: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/response/what-we-have-say-about-online-poker

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Posted by on May 24 2012. Filed under Poker Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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