A joint press release from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board announced Friday that the date for implementing regulations in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has been delayed by six months, from Dec. 1 to June 1, 2010.
The regulations were to force financial institutions in the U.S. to stop processing any transactions related to Internet gambling.
However, the delay will now give the U.S. House Financial Services Committee the chance to hold hearings on two bills designed to regulate and tax online gambling and futher delay UIGEA enforcement.
Those hearings are schedule for Dec. 3.
Committee Chairman Barney Frank applauded Friday's announcement.
"This will give us a chance to act in an unhurried manner on my legislation to undo this regulatory excess by the Bush administration and to undo this ill-advised law," he said.
A poker advocacy group lobbying to legalize online poker in the United States, the Poker Players Alliance believes the delay is also the first step towards legal and regulated online poker in America.
"This is a great victory for poker, but an even greater victory for advocates of good and fair public policy," said PPA Chairman Alfonse D'Amato.
"These additional months are critical to provide legislators time to clarify UIGEA and pass legislation to licence and regulate poker early next year."