This week has turned up a mixed bag of sorts for those interested and affected by the happenings in the online gambling industry. Most likely if you’re reading this, you’re one of those people. On one end of the spectrum, lawmakers in the state of New York more or less are seeking to destroy online gambling, and on the other, iMEGA’s challenge against the UIGEA stayed alive.
Early this week news broke of New York State’s Senate Codes Committee planning to have a vote on S.66 on Tuesday, March 11th. S.66 is a bill that if enacted will penalize ISP’s, advertisers, and the people who promote online gambling, which of course means poker will be directly affected. If this bill is enacted, this will more or less be quite a huge blow, creating online gambling prohibition in New York. I strongly urge those of you who are from New York value your rights to gamble online to contact your local Senate members and voice your opinions Monday, before the vote on Tuesday.
iMEGA (Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association) were granted the standing to attempt a challenge of the UIGEA. (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) However, this came after the fact that the federal judge presiding over the case dismissed it. The aftermath is that iMEGA can take the case to the Court of Appeals. The purpose of the suit they filed eight months ago was to have the UIGEA declared unlawful and unconstitutional. Their claim was based upon their beliefs that the UIGEA violates privacy, the 1st Amendment, and World Trade Organization agreements amongst other issues. The defendants (U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Reserve) sought to have the reasons iMEGA had dismissed, and were successful in doing so. However, iMEGA considered this a victory of sorts, being given a standing in the case, and being given an ability to take their case to the Court of Appeals. It will be a very, very interesting scenario in the coming months as they do take their case to the Court of Appeals, and one that bears a lot of importance. Many have criticized the UIGEA as ineffective, as well. It has been nearly a year and a half since the passing of the bill, and in effect has had quite the opposite reaction. The popularity of poker has grown since the passing of the bill, and banks, credit card companies and the like don’t get punished under the UIGEA, essentially removing the teeth from the bill. The UIGEA has also come under fire due to the fact that potential billions in tax money are being lost under the bill.
Keep posted to the coming events, as they shape the future of online poker.