Online Poker May be a States Rights Issue
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals basically upheld the UIGEA on Tuesday and dismissed the iMEGA's claim that law was too vague. However, the judges made the following statement in the filing:
âIt bears repeating that the Act itself does not make any gambling activity illegal. Whether the transactionâ¦ constitutes unlawful internet gambling turns on how the law of the state from which the bettor initiates the bet would treat that bet, i.e., if it is illegal under that stateâs law, it constitutes âunlawful internet gambling.ââ
Everyone is hailing this as historic and that it is the first step in overturning the UIGEA. That is perhaps true, but one thing people are missing, or at least it seems to me they are missing, is that the states can decide if this is unlawful. Six states have laws against internet gambling. This means that we have 44 fights to go through on this issue.
Leaving this open to the states to decide is going to be a blessing and a curse in my opinion. I would be surprised if some states will likely treat online gaming as an online casino and therefore outlaw it strictly on that basis. States that already have casinos will probably outlaw it to try and "divert money to the brick and mortar casinos."
If this issue indeed is addressed by each state individually, this issue may not be resolved for decades. Tuesday's ruling is a step in the right direction, but it may prove to be three steps back, at least in the short term.
What do you think?