RGA supporting UIGEA clarification act

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A major player in the online gambling world has decided to endorse the recent bill that Congress passed attempting to clarify the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The bill, which is titled H.R. 6663 or the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Clarification and Implementation Act (UIGEACIA), was introduced to congress by Pete Sessions last week and will attempt to define what qualifies as unlawful Internet gambling.

The Remote Gambling Association announced on Friday it would be supporting the bill on the basis that it will target online sportsbooks and online sports betting, not online poker. The RGA is hopeful that the new bill will allow currently exiled online poker rooms like PartyPoker, Titan Poker and Pacific Poker back into the U.S. market.

In March 2008 the RGA requested the European Union Commission investigate U.S. online gambling practices on the grounds they are discriminatory against European operators.

According to RGA Chief Executive Clive Hawkswood, H.R. 6663 would go a long way to meeting the concerns of both the RGA and the EU.

"We took our case directly to U.S. legislators who have heard our message, understood the inequity of the Department of Justice's stance and appreciated both the unfairness in their enforcement policy and the risk to U.S. priority interests and its reputation if the policy was pursued further," said Hawkswood. "This could be a major step in demonstrating that the rule of the law and integrity of the WTO are still important in Washington.

Interestingly the Poker Players Alliance has opted not to endorse the bill. According to a story in the Las Vegas Review Journal the PPA's problem with the bill is its "confusing language."

The bill says the original UIGEA has made Internet poker an unlawful activity that, in the future, will need special protection. Although that sounds good to many people, the PPA takes issue with poker ever being labeled as illegal. If the Alliance were to support the bill it would be tantamount to admitting that poker is illegal.

Either way it's unlikely the bill will be passed anytime soon. Congress has just gone on summer break and although it will return in September, it's doubtful much will get passed in the months preceding the presidential election.

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