Al D’Amato says Online Poker Will Be Back in the US in 18 Months

by Lou on November 20, 2007

Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players’ Alliance, expects online poker to be back in the United States within 18 months. He was speaking in Las Vegas at last week’s Global Gaming Expo, attended by more than 28,000 industry professionals.

Other panelists at the Internet Gambling at the Crossroads session opined that sanctions by the World Trade Organization (WTO) stemming from current US policy on Internet gambling could be the major driver for legalization.
Panelists also agreed that online gaming can be regulated to prevent underage gambling and ensure player protection. With the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) banning financial transactions online and keeping reputable companies out of the marketplace, panelists were concerned about player protection in an environment dominated by unregulated.
According to Terry Lanni of MGM Mirage, existing technology can ascertain where a player lives, while verifying his age and detecting “problem gambling.” Gary Loveman stated that Harrah’s is exploring the possibility of expanding its World Series of Poker brand by creating Internet gambling sites in countries where it is legal to do so.
Here’s my take on this: I agree with D’Amato. I believe that UIGEA will either be overturned, held in legal limbo, or otherwise rendered toothless, though I’d be (pleasantly) surprised if this occurred before the next presidential election.
That allows time for Representative Shelley Berkley’s (D-NV) study bill (See May 25 blog entry for a full description of Berkley’s bill) to be passed and a study brought back to congress that says what we all know: All the voiced concerns about online gaming can be addressed by existing technology, and that the US is losing out on billions in revenue as a result of UIGEA. It also allows a new administration in the White House to step back from positions taken by the Bush administration and set new, forward-looking policy.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: