Report: UIGEA Regulations Postponed for 6 Months


Aug 3, 2002
Las Vegas
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This is being reported by PPA, IMEGA and various other news sources. Without an official government announcement take it for what it is worth....

The regulations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) have been delayed six months from December 1st, according to Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) Chairman Joe Brennan.

Neither U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner nor Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had made any official comment regarding a six-month delay at press time. The two government officials received petitions to stay the UIGEAs regulations by one year in letters filed by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the American Greyhound Track Operators Association, and members of Kentuckys Congressional delegation. Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) asked the two officials to uphold the original December 1st industry compliance deadline in a dissenting opinion.

The news comes one week ahead of a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee regarding two internet gambling bills introduced by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) in May that would alter the landscape of the industry in the United States. The first, HR 2266, would have postponed the regulations of the UIGEA by one year to December 1st, 2010. Its viability given todays news of a likely six-month postponement is up in the air. The measure had attracted 53 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle.

HR 2267, claiming 63 co-sponsors, creates a full licensing and regulatory framework for the internet gambling industry in the United States. It marks Franks latest attempt to undo the UIGEA, which was passed in 2006 after being attached to an unrelated port security measure at the prompting of then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). In the Senate, the SAFE Port Act was passed by unanimous consent.

On the hearing next week, which will be held at 10:00am ET in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday, Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative spokesperson Michael Waxman told Poker News Daily, Chairman Frank is clearly indicating his commitment to switch the governments position on Internet gambling, replacing attempts to prohibit the activity with a regulatory framework where consumers are protected. Chairman Franks commitment is further reinforced by scheduling this hearing and taking up this issue on the heals of the push for financial industry reform, which has been the committees exclusive focus the last six months.

The six-month window will take the internet gambling industry to June 1st, right before election season in the United States in 2010. While issues like health care and a sagging economy have taken center stage since late 2008, internet gambling may finally see its day in the sun. Brennan explained his thoughts on the breaking news: Its encouraging that youve had this stay on the compliance, but its unfortunate that it took this long. We should all hope that in the next six months, a bill that already has 63 co-sponsors can be heard.

To be clear, no official comment from the Treasury or Federal Reserve was available at the time of writing. With December 1st occurring next Tuesday, a stay likely had to be granted today or Monday, November 30th given the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Word breaking on Black Friday was also a possibility.

Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest on this developing story.

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