The announcement by the Fed and the US Treasury late Friday that the December 1st implementation date for the UIGEA regulations has been pushed back to June 1st 2010 has been generally well received.
House Financial Services Committee chairman and legalised online gambling champion Barney Frank applauded Friday's announcement.
“The Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board of Governor’s deserve a great deal of credit for suspending these midnight regulations promulgated by the Bush administration which would curtail the freedom of Americans to use the internet as they choose and which would pose unrealistic burdens on the entire financial community,” said Frank.
“This will give us a chance to act in an unhurried manner on my legislation to undo this regulatory excess by the Bush administration and to undo this ill-advised law.”
Poker Players Alliance chairman Alfonse D'Amato said he believes the delay is also the first step towards legal and regulated online poker in America.
“This is a great victory for poker, but an even greater victory for advocates of good and fair public policy,” said D'Amato. “These additional months are critical to provide legislators time to clarify UIGEA and pass legislation to licence and regulate poker early next year.”
PPA's executive director John Pappas said: “I think we've had a lot of smaller victories that led to a change in how Congress views our issue…but I think this might be our biggest single, changing moment. This really puts it squarely on the shoulders of Congress to do something during this period of delay, and we're hoping we can get some quick action. That's why I think the timing of Frank's hearing next week couldn't be better.”
John Kennedy FitzGerald, chief executive of the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) commented: “IGC hopes that the U.S. Congress will use the intervening time to move U.S. law away from the ambiguous attempts at prohibition contained in UIGEA, and toward a rational policy of licensing and regulation, which respects individual freedom, protects players, and raises needed revenue for federal and state governments.
“We thank Chairman Frank for his efforts toward that goal, and we look forward to working with him in any way possible to achieve it.”