Professional Poker players, casual card players, and especially those who run online gambling sites that cater to a US clientele have been shaking in their boots with the December 1st deadline for enforcement nearing, but it looks like those fears can be put aside, because the date will be pushed back another 6 months.
The Poker Player’s Alliance used a petition, encouraging people on Twitter and other social networking sites to get involved and request that the UIGEA enforcement be delayed further. The treasury department is expected to make an announcement today (Friday) giving official word that the act will be delayed further, giving another 6 months for the issue to be resolved. It looks as though a hearing will be scheduled on December 3rd with the House Financial Services Committee to discuss the UIGEA and associated bills further in order to better determine how to proceed.
Currently, the PPA is taking this delay as a victory, particularly as the announcement came before enforcement officially went into effect, increasing the challenges for Poker players and Poker providers for American players to continue operating. Unfortunately, there might still be some changes on the horizon as many banks and financial service providers have already been preparing to put a stop on online casino transactions in preparation for the execution of this bill. There’s a good chance that some will still move forward in making online gambling a greater challenge, while some might pick and choose their battles until given official word of UIGEA enforcement or a withdrawal of the bill.
While this might not be an all-out victory for the Poker community, it does bring some hope that perhaps online gambling is not about to disappear from the US, because even Congress is trying to be more accommodating. However, with this in motion, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the future of online Poker in the US, despite the fact that it’s a favorite pastime of many. One small step at a time is all we can hope for at this stage, so we’ll take this victory and hope that there are more to follow!