John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), has once again petitioned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in an effort to have poker exempted from UIGEA’s oversight. The petition is also signed by 22 members of Congress. Pappas stated: “The PPA is grateful for the support of the 22 members of Congress who wrote Secretary Geithner and Chairman Bernanke in support of our petition to exempt peer-to-peer gaming from the UIGEA regulations…We are still strongly supporting legislative efforts to license and regulate online poker and provide the consumer protections that the UIGEA will not, and are hopeful of the passage of bills like [Congressman Barney Frank’s] HR 2267, but believe our petition is the best bet to address the short-term issues facing online poker.”
With UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) coming into effect June 1st, unless delayed again by Congress, time is running short and the PPA and John Pappas know they have to act. The petition is asking that UIGEA’s definition of gambling be clarified to exclude games of peer-to-peer gameplay, such as poker.
The petition asks that a sub-paragraph be added to UIGEA amending the act to state that the terms “bet” or “wager” do not apply to “certain peer-to-peer games where the outcome is determined predominantly by the skill of the players, such as poker, chess, bridge, mah-jong, and backgammon.”
Pappas stated that the purpose of the petition was to clarify the ambiguous phrase “unlawful internet gambling” in UIGEA, which places the burden of interpreting that phrase on the banking and financial institution which have to enforce it.
The petition is signed by the following members of Congress: Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), Tom Perriello (D-Va.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), Ciro Rodriguez (D-Tex.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Phil Hare (D-Ill.), John Larson (D-Conn.), John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Ron Klein (D-Fla.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.).