Washington, D.C. (April 2, 2008) – Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group comprised of almost one million online and offline poker players nationwide, issued the following statement on today’s hearing before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
„I commend the House Financial Services Committee for holding today’s hearing to better understand the burdens UIGEA places on the banking industry. As many banks have commented, UIGEA is completely unworkable and puts undue strain on the financial industry’s relationship with its customers. Banks should not be deputized by the federal government to enforce unclear laws that prevent their customers from enjoying lawful Internet poker. Even the Federal Reserve in its testimony agrees that the myriad of gambling laws are ’not well-settled and can be subject to varying interpretations.‘ If the regulators don’t know what an ‚unlawful internet gambling‘ transaction is how can the banks be expected to know?“
„The proposed UIGEA regulations are troublesome but the trouble started with the statute. It is not practical, nor is it sound federal policy to try to prohibit adults from engaging in games of skill on the Internet. We urge members of Congress to reconsider this legislation and move towards regulation of online poker that will protect children and problem gamblers, fight fraud and abuse and collect billions in federal and state tax revenue.
„We look forward to working with Chairman Barney Frank, the Financial Services Committee and all Members of Congress to address Internet gambling in a reasonable and responsible fashion.“