After the unfortunate demise of bill HR 5767 from Barney Frank, a series of interesting events have swamped the USA online gambling situation. Several gaming giants such as the “Party” brand started to complain to the US government about the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act). After this, the EU placed formal complaints to the USA regarding this same issue stating that making online gambling illegal in the US and having the IRS going after offshore betting company revenues was illegal under the current trade law (WTO agreements).
The pressure has been so strong on the government that even several congressmen have asked the IRS not to pursue these gaming operators such as Bodog which was recently on the news regarding an IRS conflict. Bill HR 6663 was introduced in order to help regulate this UIGEA enforcement, but there are several complaints as this bill is not as effective as the previous one (5767) according to the poker players alliance. It does not clearly decriminalize and make the government regulate the operation instead of stopping it completely as the previous one.
Congress has even come up with bills such as the Internet Study Gambling Act where government points out the positive and negative aspects of the industry in an attempt to effectively come up with a solution to this problem. This however will only begin to be studied in after the August break, in September. The fact of the matter remains that the Las Vegas lobby group urges its congressmen to make its clientele physically go and play at the Nevada based casinos rather than pay online with the European competition, and this is a major force in keeping the UIGEA bill current.
September will definitely play a part in the online gambling saga within the USA as congress comes back from the break and starts to deal with the EU, the WTO, the IRS, and the gambling study bill as well as HR 6663. What remains to be seen is if the government will actually change its laws or remain with this conflict for an even further period of time.
It is the personal view of the author of this article that the United States must lift the current UIGEA bill and make it obsolete, let competition come into the online gambling scene as well as provide local subsidies for US based brick and mortar casinos to compete online and then create an effective way to regulate the business in order to stop money laundering and make a huge profit out of the operations, as HR 5767 clearly stated that the government will outstandingly profit from this industry in the long term. It seems almost absurd that the government imposes how their citizens can use their personal income. If continents like Europe have been successfully controlling the industry for decades, why can’t the USA do the same?