The poorly conceived Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is almost upon us.
Though parts of UIGEA have had a de facto implementation, it has repeatedly been postponed. Now, it is scheduled to take effect June 1st.
Suspense grows: Today online poker players have tens of billions of dollars in their online poker accounts. There are some half dozen offshore online gambling sites--the two biggest: PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. So far, U.S. officials have not gone after these directly. A Canadian, Douglas Rennick, was arrested recently on federal charges that he laundered money for online poker sites. He copped a plea, admitting that he processed some $350 million for offshore internet poker sites. It is speculated the U.S. Attorney has made a deal with Rennick to get his help in pursuing the big online site owners. The maximum Rennick may receive under the deal is two years, but that is predicated upon his "subsequent conduct."
Congressman Barney Frank introduced legislation that would in effect revoke the UIGEA, giving every American citizen the right to gamble online. His bill has had the effect of holding up adoption of UIGEA – till now.
Recent studies by H2 Gambling Capital contend that in the five years since the UIGEA ban passed Congress, the U.S. could have gained some 32,000 jobs and raised $57.billion in tax revenue from wagering.
Why are we being so self-destructive?
The data for this blog post comes to me from John Connolly, a reporter for Vanity Fair Magazine.