Today was supposed to have been the day. The day that for the past three years; online gambling organizations and online gamblers alike, had been bracing themselves for the biggest kick in the balls… But it was not to be. Last Friday, the US Treasury Department and Federal Reserve board provided the perfect Thanksgiving gift to Americans when they officially announced they would be delaying the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act for six months. The two agencies felt the act and the regulation did not provide a clear definition of what is termed “unlawful internet gambling”. The highly controversial bill passed three years ago under the Bush administration, but it appears now that change is on the horizon.
The move to delay the bill comes on the heels of several objections from lawmakers across the United States and resistance from the World Trade Organization, which labeled the law as an unfair trade restriction. Perhaps the biggest question is, “Where do we go from here”? While the answers to that question remain to be seen, the move to delay the bill allows inferences to be made regarding the future of the online gambling environment in the United States. Coincidently, it was reported in an article in www.thisismoney.co.uk, that a bidding war is underway for the UK National Lottery operator Camelot. According to the article, bidders have been spurred by the notion that Camelot possesses considerable expansion potential to overseas markets. Given the current state of affairs and the apparent change in the hardlined stance against online gambling, it certainly has become a real possibility for overseas organizations to begin staking claims in the now friendlier U.S market.
Although the law has not yet been amended, it does appear that change is inevitable. Just how extensive that change may be is not yet clear. New Jersey lawmaker Robert Menendez has proposed legislation to regulate online poker, something poker enthusiasts have lobbied for many years, but now may be closer to than ever before.
The issue regarding deposits and payouts and financial institutions is another factor that is immediately affected by the decision to delay the bill. With financial institutions no longer on the hook to scrutinize transactions online gamblers are getting flashbacks of the “good o’l days”.
The move to delay the bill illustrates the recognition on the part of U.S agencies that the current stance on online gambling requires careful review. Online gambling organizations and online gamblers alike, get a breath of fresh air in the meantime because one thing is for sure… Legalized gambling is now closer than ever before to becoming a reality in the United States as it is many areas of the world. Online gambling companies that were once forced to pull out of the U.S market could be making a return and we might just see others looking to stake their market share in the next six months as well.
US representative and known adversary to the Unlawful Online Gambling Enactment Law, Barney Frank, had vowed that he would fight to overturn what he considered an ill advised law.
Nothing to brush your shoulders off about, but so far so good Barney, where we go from here, only time will tell. In the meantime, it’s play on players.
To view the article in thisismoney click here.