Suddenly, poker players have a whole lot more to be thankful for.Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has scheduled a hearing for his two poker-related bills for Dec. 3. The news comes in the final days before banks are legally required to begin enforcing the regulations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.Frank introduced two bills on May 6, H.R. 2266 and H.R. 2267, in his efforts to fight the UIGEA — a law passed in 2006 that severely hampers the online gaming industry because of the restrictions it places on payment transfers.H.R. 2266 seeks to delay implementation of the UIGEA for one year. Banks must begin complying with the regulations of the UIGEA starting Dec. 1, but a joint petition filed in early October by the Poker Players Alliance, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association asked the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to delay that deadline.PPA Executive Director John Pappas told Card Player yesterday that a decision would be made, “one way or the other,” by Dec. 1.However, two independent high-ranking sources who asked not to be named, have told Card Player that they expect the delay to be finalized in the coming days.Since those organizations filed that petition, more than 50 members of Congress have voiced their support for the delay, including “virtually every leading banking institution,” according to Pappas.Frank’s second and arguably more important bill, H.R. 2267, also known as “The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act,” seeks to explicitly legalize and regulate the online gaming industry.You can watch the hearing live on Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. on the House Financial Services Committee website .
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