Bush Signs Online Gambling Bill

Michael Hayes
WASHINGTON — Adult webmasters who deal with online gambling sites will face a new regulatory regime with the signing of H.R. 4411, a bill that targets those who process payments in connection with Internet gambling.

Adult entertainment attorney Gregory Piccionelli told XBIZ early this week when lawmakers sent the bill to the president for his signature, that the law puts many adult webmasters in “multiple target zones.” Many webmasters deal simultaneously in both industries, according to Piccionelli.

The change in law, which had bipartisan support, was tucked into a larger port security bill, drawing some criticism from Democrats who felt the issues ought to be treated separately.

At a White House signing ceremony, Bush did not mention the online gambling provision of the bill.

"Today is a dark day for the great American game of poker," Poker Players Alliance Michael Bolcerek said. “Twenty-three million Americans who play the game online will effectively be denied the ability to enjoy this popular form of entertainment, even in the privacy of their own homes.”

In addition to Bolcerek’s worries over American gambling enthusiasts, at least one foreign company has suffered what appears to be a catastrophic blow over the new U.S. law.

According to a BBC report, shares of Antigua-based World Gaming have been suspended from trading on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

The report also said the company, which garners the “overwhelming majority” of its revenue from American players, has lost four of its top directors, including CEO Daniel Moran over fears that they could face arrest in the U.S.