4/6/10 – With the June 1st implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act regulations looming on the horizon, the Poker Players Alliance is reportedly looking for some unusual allies in its bid to exempt online poker from the law, which prohibits financial transactions with ‘illegal' online gambling operators and processors.
This week, PPA executive director John Pappas told Poker News Daily that his organisation has approached online gambling's arch enemy Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona for assistance, and is working on a petition appealing that peer-to-peer games be excluded from the final promulgation of the UIGEA rules.
"We need to get Jon Kyl to agree to this revision," said Pappas. "It wouldn’t seek to delay the law, but it would clearly exempt poker and pari-mutuel dog and horse racing.”
The action suggests that Pappas is preparing an alternative strategy should Congressman Barney Frank's attempt to legalise and regulate US gambling in general fail. That bill is accompanied by a companion bill, HR 2266, that seeks to delay the implementation of the UIGEA regulations for a further year, and is due to undergo another House Financial Services Committee hearing – hopefully in the near future.
Pappas' strategy in approaching Kyl apparently turns on convincing the anti-online gambling senator to support an exemption. “I don’t think it comes down to Kyl having an axe to grind with poker players. I think he’d be open to a legislative solution, but he wants to get his law enforced,” Pappas notes.
Speculating on the impact of the UIGEA regulations come June 1st, Pappas told PDN: “It’s not going to have any effect on those who wish to miscode transactions and those who are not the most upstanding actors. They’ll continue to operate without fear of this law and players will continue to be able to wager on those sites.
"It’s the larger, reputable online poker sites that will have to review their operations and make certain that they’re above board.”