Press ReleaseÃ¢â‚¬â€œ Former Senator Alfonse DÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with over one million members nationwide, today issued the following statement on the House Financial Services CommitteeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s failure to pass H.R. 5767, the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Payment Systems Protection Act,Ã¢â‚¬Â by a vote of 32-32.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The PPA is surprised that the Financial Services Committee today failed to clarify what constitutes Ã¢â‚¬Ëœunlawful Internet gamblingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).Ã‚Â The King Amendment would have required a separate formal rulemaking with an administrative law judge to determine the definition of unlawful Internet gambling.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Federal Reserve, Department of Treasury and the banking industry have all testified before Congress that the lack of a definition of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœunlawful Internet gamblingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to enforce this law and would result in a broader review and denial of financial transactions because they could possibly be deemed unlawful under UIGEA.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is disappointing to realize that opponents of this legislation still do not truly understand the intent of the bill.Ã‚Â It was clear today that those who oppose this bill chose to focus on emotional and non-germane issues, such as the harmful impact of gambling on children, instead of on the merits of the bill itself.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As it stands, UIGEA is a completely unworkable and unenforceable bill that would do little to address the main concerns of its sponsors Ã¢â‚¬â€œ namely, protecting underage and compulsive gamblers as well as cracking down on money laundering. To truly address these issues, the PPA firmly believes that Congress should implement thoughtful and effective regulation of the online gambling industry as opposed to outright prohibitions, which history has shown do not work.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Unfortunately, debate over the morality of gambling trumped debate on the fact that UIGEA is completely ineffective and unenforceable.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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