Republicans seek UIGEA clarification

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It's been nearly two years since the U.S. government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), and even the officials who passed the law are still unclear about the specifics of the legislation.

The latest development has four Republican representatives, who are all pro-UIGEA, sending a letter to the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department seeking more clarification regarding the law.

The letter, which was signed by Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), specifically asks what constitutes "online gambling."

Advocates of legalizing online poker were particularly intrigued by the following sentence which refers to skill games:

"As proposed the regulations do not provide clear guidance to the public, in particular those that engage in online skill games, or regulated industries regarding what constitutes 'unlawful internet gambling.'"

Many in the poker industry have long advocated that poker belongs in a separate "skill game" section and should not be affected by the laws that govern traditional gambling games.

The letter went on to state that implementing such a vague law and regulating it would be unnecessarily burdensome to the general public and small business. The letter also suggested that it was important to provide those tasked with blocking the online gambling services with a practical understanding of what qualifies as unlawful Internet gambling.

The representatives also requested an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) be brought in to provide legal advice regarding the act and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to evaluate the financial burden of enforcing the anti-online gambling act.

You can read the letter in its entirety over at the Poker Players Alliance Web site.

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