The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is a terrible piece of legislation that the U.S. Congress attached to a frigging Port Safety Bill. Whether you support online gambling or not, you should hate this bill. It was rammed through without much discussion, and doesn't do anything it was intended to do anyway.
How do I know this? Because I can still deposit and withdraw money from FullTilt. So what exactly does the bill do, if I can do that?
What the UIGEA did was to make it unlawfully for U.S. banking institutions to accept transactions from online gambling sites.
And how was this bill passed? When the Republicans lost control of the House and Senate in November 2006, they attached this bill to the Homeland Security bill and rammed it through before the Democrats actually took over in January 2007. I'm a lifetime Republican and I am ashamed to say that when stuff like this happens.
What the UIGEA actually does is trump your personal choice to spend your money any danm way you want. If they can say you can't play poker online, what is preventing them from passing an "Unlawful Chocolate Consumption Enforcement Act"? The principles involved are exactly the same. If some congressmen decide that chocolate is bad for you, and want it banned, all they have to do is attach a bill banning it to something that is sure to pass....and bang, chocolate is now illegal.
To be more accurate, they'd pass a bill that says no person may SELL chocolate.
Here's the deal. The UIGEA got the most popular poker site in the world to close its American doors. It also makes it a hassle to deposit or withdraw money. The government should figure out how to regulate and tax online poker, instead of trying to shut it down.
I don't want this to turn into an "poker is not gambling" argument. It isn't. This isn't about gambling or even poker. Its about a handful of government people deciding that because they can't win at poker, nobody should be able to play poker. In other words, they're ruling your life based on their own particular beliefs. That isn't why we elect congressmen and senators.
So, your job is simple:
1. Join the Poker Player Alliance. www.pokerplayeralliance.org Its cheap, but important.
2. Write your congressman and senator, and tell them to get rid of the UIGEA. It is just a bad law. Ignorant Republicans shoved it down our throats, and the new Democrat controlled congress should be more understanding. (I can't believe I just typed that, but there it is).
3. Write your President and tell him to get rid of the UIGEA. President Obama is a POKER PLAYER!
4. Play poker. More players is always good for the game.