Just days after Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) Chairman Joe Brennan spoke with several poker media outlets about a rumored delay of the enforcement date of the Unlawful Internet Gaming and Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was going to be delayed, the rumors were confirmed with an article by the Associated Press confirmed the gossip.
The article reported that the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve elected to delay the enforcement date by six months after several gambling groups like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and horse and dog racing groups sent letters to the organizations imploring them to make the delay. Also joining in the letter writing efforts were the six Congressmen representing the state of Kentucky and the American Bankers Association. Other financial institutions also authored letters letting the Treasury and the Reserve know they were not adequately prepared for the looming deadline because of the vague language of the UIGEA regarding what constitutes “internet gambling.”
In the wake of the announcement, several pro-gaming groups and individuals issued statements expressing relief over the decision. Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) issued a statement in which he expressed his optimism over the decision. “This will give us a chance to act in an unhurried manner on my legislation to undo this regulatory excess by the Bush administration and to undo this ill-advised law”, Frank said. The legislation Frank refers two are two House Resolutions that are being marked up in a House Financial Services Committee meeting on December 3rd. One sought to delay and clarify the UIGEA while the other bill aims to overturn the UIGEA altogether and put in a regulatory licensing system for online gaming in the United States.
PPA Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato responded to the decision in a press release from the lobbying group. “The PPA is extremely pleased with the decision by the Federal Reserve and Treasury to grant the six month extension”, D’Amato enthused. “This is a great victory for poker, but an even greater victory for advocates of good and fair public policy. These additional months are critical to provide legislators time to clarify UIGEA and pass legislation to license and regulate poker early next year.”
Since its inception in 2006, the UIGEA has generated a large amount of criticism for its vague language. The bill does not expressly outlaw any form of internet gambling, but requires financial institutions to block transactions believed to be connected to offshore gambling sites or other groups that are operating gaming ventures that are stipulated to be illegal under pre-existing laws. The six month delay does not ensure that the UIGEA will be altered or overturned, but it does give more time for Frank’s bills, which have gained a large number of supporters in Congress in recent months, to be heard and debated in Congress.

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.