Wednesday, December 8, 2010

U.S. Players May Lose Online Poker for 15 Months

U.S. Players May Lose Online Poker for 15 Months

Right now there is a lot of buzz in the online gambling industry over the possibility of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attaching an online poker bill to must-pass legislation during the lame duck session. There are a lot of good and bad things being said about the bill, which few people have seen.

The bill would essentially render UIGEA useless even if it doesn’t totally repeal it. That would be good news for online gamblers in the U.S. who are having trouble finding casinos that will accept them. No one has reported yet on the licensing fees or the tax rate, but there are a couple reported regulations that have some in the business angry.

One reported regulation would only allow casinos that have existed at least 5 years in the United States to offer online gambling. That would benefit the old casino industries in places like Las Vegas (where Reid represents) and Atlantic City while discriminating against states with new casino industries. The bill also supposedly would not allow tribal casinos to provide online gambling sites.

Another regulation that is drawing the ire of poker players is a rule that would make them wait 15 months without playing poker online. It will take 15 months from the time the law is passed for the regulation to be put in place. That type of regulatory delay is common and it is the reason laws take so long to go into effect. However, Reid’s bill purportedly states that online casinos cannot receive a license if they have accepted U.S. players within 30 days of the bill being passed. That means a period of 15 months (or more) in which any online gambling website that wants to be licensed in the U.S. will not allow any American customers.

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