It was a dark day for poker over the weekend. The House has passed the Port Security Bill that includes an amendment to ban online gaming. After a last minute 'hail mary' action by it's sponsor got the bill through. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 passed Congress late Friday night, after being attached to a Port Security measure that was sure to pass. Senator Bill Frist from Tennessee got his wish, and now online poker players, and gamblers will have a much harder time funding their accounts.
The main focus of the passed
legislation is on the instruments of funding players use to get money
into online poker accounts. Banks are now required to monitor
transactions, and deny any transactions from payment providers for
online gaming. There is already much debate over whether third party
processors, such as NETeller will be affected.
According to Gambling911.com, "litigation brought on by some industry giants and other nations dependent upon internet gambling might hinder the measure pertaining to wagering online."
The site has learned that "at least one industry giant plans to release a statement as early as this coming Monday."
Gambling911.com also claims that Las Vegas, a city that greatly benefits from the influx of business online poker brings in (particularly during the WSOP), is ready to step up its efforts to keep online wagering legal.
There is still some hope. The Poker Player's Alliance has announced that it is continuing its fight to keep online poker legal. The organization will redouble its efforts to ensure online poker receives the same exempt status enjoyed by horse racing while also promoting the taxing and regulating of the game. I just hope they have more success trying to amend the newly passed bill then they did trying to stop it.
For some great 2+2 Forum discussions on the topic, read the linked threads below.
:: All 2+2 legislative topics (solid, thoughtful posts throughout)