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Developments in US Online Gambling Law

By: Ryan Alders, Wednesday January 13th 2010
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Two independent news items relating to the United States online gambling law have been reported this week. The first has the potential to swing the direction of online gambling legislation in the future. The second is a spin off from action taken earlier.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has declared that it would publish its order in the domain name seizure case on January 21, 2010. The online gaming industry is hopeful of a favorable result that would put a permanent end to this case. Late in 2008 the Kentucky governor Steve Beshear managed to get an order from the lower court for the seizure of 141 domain names of online gambling operators. The online gambling industry led by iMEGA went to court but lost. iMEGA then filed an appeal, which they won. The state of Kentucky then appealed in the Kentucky Supreme Court and it is this decision that is being awaited. If the state of Kentucky gets an unfavorable decision they can always appeal to the United States Supreme Court. However iMEGA chairman Joe Brennan Jr. does not think that is possible because this is a state issue and as two-time losers in their own state, it is unlikely that the United States Supreme Court would entertain the appeal. Poker News has considered the possibility of the decision going in favor of Kentucky. It writes "The lawsuit is ultimately pointless because the sites would continue to operate without their domain names. The only players who type in a domain name are the ones looking to initially download the software, and the search engines could easily be changed to recognize a new address."

In November 2009 the United States Treasury agreed to give the online gaming industry and extension of six months for implementing the UIGEA rules. Apparently this has not gone down well with Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who is a committed online gaming opponent. Kyl was one of the key architects of the UIGEA. He believes that this extension granted by the Treasury will give an opportunity to Barney Frank and others for pushing through their anti-UIGEA legislation. He is therefore allegedly delaying the confirmation of key appointees in the Treasury department as retaliation. For this Kyl has come under fire from both liberals and conservatives. Most vocal has been the former head of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, who said, "Here we are on December 29, almost a year after the Inauguration, and there is no Under Secretary of the Treasury. How can we run a government in the middle of a financial crisis without doing the ordinary, garden-variety administrative work of filling the relevant agencies?"

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Comment by: egghead On: January 16, 2010
I think that the implementation of policy to enforce the UIGEA will be implemented before we see a full on regulation of the gambling industry online. Would be nice if this wasn't the case but it likely will be the course of action that will be taken. The large Las Vegas online casinos will want to kill all the competition before they start getting involved themselves.

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