New obstacles for US online gambling legalizing

Although it seemed that it would be a favourable year for legal online gambling in the US, the replacement of liberal Democratic symbol Ted Kennedy by a conservative Republican in the Senate may create another situation.

More questionable laws

The Democrats maintain their majority in the Senate but the balance is more closer. Consequently, it is not expected that the Democrats will attempt to introduce more questionable laws, especially since Kennedy was a very powerful member and his influence will now be absent. Online gambling remains an extremely questionable issue in the US and it could be contemplated as too controversial by the Democratic management, often considered as shy by political experts.

Speaker of the House

PokerNews’ Matthew Kredell writes: “Republican Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House and therefore one of the most influential politicians in the House of Representatives, which results in considerable influence over the Democratic members in the House. Pelosi should retain the Democrats’ majority to continue her position as Speaker of the House. She will demoralize standpoints that could jeopardize her role and the majority.”For that reason, if Frank’s bill succeeds to pass his Financial Services Committee and go in front of the complete House this year, the process will probably come to a standstill at that stage and will not reach the voting process.”

Internet gambling legalization

Furthermore, the Republicans are demonstrating that they will continue their battle against internet gambling legalization. Fourteen days ago, John Kyl, the Republican Senator and one of the most local antagonists of legalizing internet gambling in the United States, displayed his disagreement by pausing approval of Department of Treasury officials. Maria Del Mar writes at Poker News Daily: “Six appointed officials are ‘on-hold’ due to Senator Kyl’s stall. These positions are all without a doubt important for the Obama administration, and even for the most fanatic poker enthusiasts, it must be obvious that they are more important at the moment than enacting or cancelling the UIGEA.”

Online gambling laws

“I don’t have a strong opinion for or against online gambling laws, but it’s clear that a six month postponement doesn’t lead to serious problems. Nevertheless, Kyl’s decision really shows what conservatives are willing to do in order to prevent approval of Obama’s appointed officials,” according to Pat Garofalo in The Wonk Room.

Indecisive outlook

These indications are worrying. The postponement of the UIGEA may have brought new hopes, but it’s obvious that the outlook for legalizing internet gambling and poker this year is still very indecisive, even though Barney Frank continues his battle.

Poker Players Alliance

However, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) continues its pressure. The leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members is supposedly pressing strongly for action on Barney Frank’s HR 2267, opting for formally debate the bill next month.


Frank’s bill has almost 70 sponsors and the support continues to grow, despite the fact that the majority of the Congress tries to delay decision making regarding the issue. Dan Cypra writes at Poker News Daily: “According to Poker Players Alliance director John Pappas, Frank aims on debating the bill in February, which could result in a ‘markup’ at the House of Representatives later this year. From there, the Poker Players Alliance and Frank may vote to combine the measure with additional legislation, comparable with the way the UIGEA was attached to the separate 2006 security bill.”
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