With the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in late September of 2006, many felt a great injustice had been done. Those who felt strongly about it have been doing what they can to undo the wrong that’s been set forth. Robert Wexler, a Democrat from Florida, set out to change the laws concerning online gambling with the creation of ‘The Skill Game Protection Act.’
This proposed bill, if passed, will protect games of skill such as poker, from online gaming laws established through the UIGEA. The precise legalities within the UIGEA were extremely unclear when it was passed in the first place, leaving U.S. financial institutions to figure out what was illegal or not on their own. Its laws are aimed at banning games of chance. What lawmakers failed to realize is that poker and other similar games are not purely reliant on chance. The outcome of these games are heavily dependent on the skill in which the player employs. Not only that, but the competition is between other players and not the house.
This bill saw its 21st co-sponsor earlier this week as New Jersey Democrat, Robert E. Andrews signed on in full support. Lobbying for this change will become increasingly easier with each new signature. The picking up of Andrews puts a lot of people at ease with the future of online poker in the United States.
Along with Robert Wexler on this forefront is Barney Frank a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts. Barney Frank is proposing a similar bill called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA), which is designed to license and regulate online gambling in the United States. IGREA has been gaining more publicity and support than Wexler’s Skill Game Protection Act, but they’re both welcomed and a giant step in the right direction. IGREA recently gained its 45th co-supporter, Democratic California Representative Ellen O. Taucher.
With proposed acts such as these with good congressional support, along with the backing of Poker Players Alliance, lobbying efforts will hopefully not be too far away from a victory for U.S. poker players alike.