In what was arguably the greatest victory for the poker industry in the past three years, the Treasury and Federal Reserve announced on Friday morning that they would delay the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act regulations for at least six months.“The [Poker Players Alliance] is extremely pleased with the decision by the Federal Reserve and Treasury to grant the six month extension. This is a great victory for poker, but an even greater victory for advocates of good and fair public policy,” said PPA Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato. “These additional months are critical to provide legislators time to clarify UIGEA and pass legislation to license and regulate poker early next year. It is our hope that another extension would be granted should the deadline approach before these pieces of legislation can be passed.”The PPA , along with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association, filed a joint petition asking for the delay in early October. More than 50 members of Congress and several banking institutions spoke out in favor of the delay.Before the delay was granted, banks would’ve been forced to comply with UIGEA regulations by Dec. 1, 2009. Now, that deadline has been pushed back to June 1, 2010.However, poker advocates hope that deadline will never see fruition either as Rep. Barney Frank, a longtime supporter of online gaming rights, has announced that he will hold a hearing on Dec. 3 to begin the process on two poker-related bills he introduced in May.One bill is designed to delay the UIGEA until Dec. 1, 2010, while the other — “The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act,” — seeks to explicitly legalize and regulate the online gaming industry.PPA Executive Director John Pappas called today’s developments “an important victory” for the poker industry, and says now all eyes will be on Congress to either clarify the UIGEA or to completely reverse it.“It shows signs from this administration that the UIGEA , as it is drafted, is not sound public policy and that it is worthy of further review,” said Pappas. “This also puts the burden back on Congress to say, hey, we’ve delayed this, it’s up to you guys to clarify this law. It really puts Congress on notice to do something.”Frank’s Dec. 3 hearing will begin at 10 a.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on the House Financial Services Committee website .
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