Vote To Study Online Poker Industry Postponed

Yesterday was the last day of the 2008 Congressional session, before adjourning for an August recess. There were several matters on their plates, namely Karl Rove, plus 12 bills due for markup. Among those bills was the Internet Gambling Study Act, officiously known as HR 2140, proposed to study the online poker and gambling industry.

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley of Nevada proposed the Internet Gambling Study Act last year, and it has just now made its way to the markup phase in Congress. Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee spent the entire day discussing the Karl Rove situation, and whether he should be held in contempt. The remaining bills were set aside until the committee reconvenes in September 2008, leaving the online poker community hanging in stalemate.

“We knew the bill was scheduled to come up, but probably wouldn’t be voted on,” stated John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). “It was a combination of other priorities of the House Judiciary Committee and that they weren’t 100% confident of the vote count.”

HR 2140 requests a 1-year study of the online poker and gambling industry and the practicalities of regulating the industry in the US. The study is also intended to examine the effects of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. First proposed in May 2007, Berkley’s bill has received the most co-sponsorship of any online gambling related bill thus far, with 73 signatures.

While the PPA is in support of HR 2140, it is not a main priority for them. I link to information regarding the bill can be found on the web site, as the PPA feels that a study of the online poker industry is a step in the right direction. However, Pappas believes enough studies have been executed, providing sufficient data to move forward with the regulation process, further proven by the fact that “developed countries have already begun to regulate internet gambling.”

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