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US Trade Representative Ron Kirk is a light in the dark for online gamblers

Mar 11, 2009

US president Obama’s choice for the role of Trade Representative is Ron Kirk, and he will take the role so long as the Senate votes him in this month. Kirk’s stance on trade issues is very different from the one taken during the Bush administration. Kirk believes that international trade agreements should be taken seriously, and has pledged that existing agreements that have been ignored in the past will be upheld in the future.

What does this have to do with US players gambling online? It all comes down to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, the law that makes it difficult for US players to gamble online. This law is actually in violation of trade agreements with the EU since it prevents EU companies (online gambling sites) from operating freely in the US.

It’s not just the EU that is frustrated by this. The World Trade Organization has also been making noise about it lately, and has even threatened to bring legal action against the United States because of the online gambling ban.

If Kirk takes office, and stays true to his word by upholding existing trade agreements, this will mean that foreign internet casinos, poker rooms, bingo halls, sportsbooks, and other gambling websites will once again be free to operate in the US.

While it is still possible to play online blackjack games, the work of people like Ron Kirk will tear down the wall, opening up the world of online gambling to all US players.

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