Did Congress Just Legalize Online Gambling?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Online Gambling

Did Congress just legalize online gambling?  That's what one columnist for the Kansas City Star Gaming Blog believes.

Federal regulations issued Wednesday to enforce a law passed two years ago by Congress aimed at outlawing internet gambling might achieve precisely the opposite effect, Rick Alm of the Star points out.

The reason:  The rule exempts intrastate cyber gambling that is authorized by sovereign states or tribes.  The rules also exempt individual gamblers from enforcement, baring the government's regulatory teeth only at commercial gambling companies that operate cyber casinos and cyber bookie joints.

And as Gambling911.com has already reported, the regulations do not define what "illegal online gambling" is.  That's left up to the financial institutions who, if Congress couldn't define what "illegal online gambling" is, the banks won't be able to either. 

Conflict of interest charges have been levied due to the perceived influence of a White House operative and former lobbyist for the National Football League that has long opposed internet sports betting as a threat to its integrity.

As Alm rightfully points out: "What a mess!"

For online gamblers and the operators, there was a bit more good news contained in these regulations.  They don't become effective for another year (December 2009) which allows plenty of time for a repeal from the likes of Congressman Barney Frank and The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, which is now challenging the UIGEA policy enforcement in the US courts.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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