UIGEA Hearings Live Today

by , Apr 2, 2008 | 7:59 am

For months, concerns have been expressed by U.S. financial institutions and members of Congress about the ambiguous nature of the UIGEA. The government doesn’t know how to enforce it, and banks don’t know how to comply.

Rep. Barney Frank has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress on this issue, as he feels his own bill – HR 2046 – would be more appropriate to regulate online gaming rather than attempt to ban financial transactions to the sites.

Today, there is a Congressional hearing entitled “Proposed UIGEA Regulations: Burden Without Benefit?” taking place on Capitol Hill. The Poker Players Alliance has a live stream of the hearing on their website.

Click here to check it out. (Beware: There are long periods of silence when the hearing goes to recess between panels.)

UPDATE: The hearings seem to be over, but the written testimonies are available at the link above.

5 Comments to “UIGEA Hearings Live Today”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    I don’t know if anyone here was listening to the end of the 1st panel, but one of the women testifying said after they adjourned for floor votes “I hope they repeal this thing”.

  2. on tilt

    Didn’t listen to any of this. Can anyone that did say what they thought was the general feeling on this thing coming out of the hearing?

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Basically, it was that the banks/fed reserve feel this is virtually impossible to enforce. They also said clarification would be needed as to what “unlawful internet gambling” was. The only person who was speaking for the UIGEA was Republican congressman Spencer Bacchus of Alabama, trotting out a study saying that “74% of people who gamble online were addicted”, a letter from the major sports leagues supporting the UIGEA, bringing up the Hogan case (Lehigh student in jail for robbing a bank to try and recover funds he lost playing poker online).

    For those who oppose the regulations, it was a great day for them.

  4. California Jen

    Thanks, Kevin, for the summary. Sorry for my delayed response.

    Kevin is right. Financial institutions don’t know how to enforce this without it being an undue burden and affecting non-internet-gaming customers. And no one seems to have solutions.

    In fact, many members of Congress oppose the UIGEA. Rep. Barney Frank is one of the staunchest opponents of it, even having come out with his own regulatory bill – HR 2046 – that would allow internet gaming as a regulated activity.

    The PPA has a great summary of all of the testimony, as well as articles that have been written about the hearing.


  5. DanM

    The key is going to be getting these reps to see undoing the UIGEA as a relatively easy way to show off their “sensible government” at election time.

    So many of these reps voted for a war or two, after all, and now, realizing the folly of their ways are taking quite the long time to undo it. War is obviously a lot more complicated than poker, but that’s why this issue will either be blown off — not important enough, and potentially controversial — or embraced as a way to show their capable of getting something (un)done.