Is the war against online poker over, or has it just begun?

by Lou on October 4, 2006

While the party’s over for Party Poker and many other online poker sites, and supporters of the law cheer it as a victory for family values, American land based casinos are still eager to bite into the $12 billion online market. There’s some wiggle room, too, because the approved legislation neither bans nor criminalizes online poker.

“This bill did not make anything legal or illegal,” American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf said. “What it did was affect the mechanism by which Internet gambling takes place…and there is some question as to whether or not that will be effective.”

Nevada Congressman Jon Porter introduced a bill backed by casinos last May to study and recommend whether US-run online gambling sites could be regulated. Fahrenkopf believes that bill is likely to be considered early next year.

Some foreign governments believe this law to be protectionist in nature. Antigua and Barbuda’s case against the U.S. at the World Trade Organization claimed that exceptions for horseracing and lotteries were compelling evidence that the U.S. was not as opposed to gambling as they were opposed to foreign governments taking betting dollars through online sites.

Although the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua, in April, 2006, the U.S. said it had addressed the concerns. Antigua then appealed the US response to the World Trade Organization, and is still awaiting a response from the WTO.

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