U.S. Politics Delays Gambling Legislation

By Maria McCoyGoogle

While the year is reaching its end, many in the online gambling industry are wondering where an entire year went with no real progress legalizing online gambling.  The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006, two years before Barrack Obama became president.  His term is now entering its final year, and nothing has moved forward. Many in the online casino industry are disappointed as they feel change in the law should have (or could have) happened sooner.

Though the prospect of legal online gambling as a boost for the U.S. economy has been discussed to death, nobody has succeeded in turning the good idea into real legislation.  The sad news is, the window of opportunity may have passed.  The concept of legalized gambling is too controversial to ever make it through congress in year before elections.  The only legislation that could realistically make it through congress in an election year is populist legislation, and unfortunately legalizing online poker doesn’t fall into that category. 

While some have placed their hopes in the few politicians who have nonetheless carried the torch of gambler’s rights, there aren’t enough supporters not running for reelection to actually push any effective legislation through both houses by the end of 2012.  Barney Frank is a good example of a strong supporter; he spoke at the congressional subcommittee recently in favor of legalized poker.  However, if nothing gets done in the next year, his support leaves congress with him. Online casino players are hopeful that others will take his place.

While American politics may delay legalization on the national level for another 2-4 years, states are free to take initiative on their level.  Nevada recently did just that by authorizing a legal framework for licensing the operation of online casinos within the state.  All eyes are turned to New Jersey to see if they will do the same. It's a shame that to date, some of the best online casinos can't allow US players. 

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