American Online Poker Resource Guide
American online poker is alive and well! Despite the effects of the vague UIGEA, many poker sites allow American online poker players to play for real money. Online Poker Circuit review poker sites allowing US poker players to play online poker. The Online Poker Circuit is your poker info source.
UIGEA and its impact
UIGEA or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed by US Senate and House members during a thief in the night vote, was signed into law by then President G.W. Bush. UIGEA was attached to the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 (a.k.a. – Safe Port Act. UIGEA (Title VIII of the Safe Port Act) was totally unrelated to the purpose of said Safe Port Act, as online poker and the safety of American Ports have little, if anything to do with one another.
In theory, UIGEA claims to prohibit the transaction of funds to illegal internet gambling sites. It should be noted, however, that this did not apply across the board. As with most US law, there are exceptions to the rule. Should one wish to play the lottery online, decide to gamble on fantasy sports such as fantasy football, or place bets on the Kentucky Derby, UIGEA “allows” for such a thing.
Upon UIGEA’s passing, several large online poker rooms and poker networks chose to leave the US marketplace voluntarily such as Hollywood Poker, Titan Poker and perhaps most notably Party Poker. There was – and still is – much debate as to whether or not UIGEA even applies to online poker. Organizations such as the Poker Player’s Alliance believe that poker is an American tradition and is a game relying predominantly on skill, as opposed to luck. As a result of being a competition of skill, the PPA believe online poker would not be considered unlawful internet gambling within the scope of UIGEA and thus should either not apply to online poker or should be specifically carved out in a manner similar to that of chance based internet gambling such as fantasy sports betting and horse race wagering.
Additionally, it should be noted the World Trade Organization, on behalf of Antigua has taken issue with the US over UIGEA, citing UIGEA’s passing was unfair to global trade. The European Union shared this belief. Between the WTO and European Union, the world pressured the US to examine their stance on internet gambling further.
Recently, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) has begun the process of perhaps overturning UIGEA. The result may be increased regulation and taxation for internet gambling sites, as well as those who gamble on the internet. Regardless, this would be a step in the right direction for both internet gambling and online poker alike.