Poker writer Curtis Woodard has spoken about ways to speed up federal-level online poker legalization in the US in a report on OnlinePokerReport.com.
While he is in support of state-level legalization of the game, he feels that it will take too long for states to regulate the game. He opines that a consensus bill can speed up the procedure of online poker regulation in the US. He says, “Change the approach, change the outcome.”
Currently, the approach appears to be based on the assumption that poker legalization in big US states will trigger the same in other US states. But this is easier said than done, owing to which a consensus bill is the need of the hour.
According to Woodard, a consensus bill would balance the requirements of players, the industry, and local interest; address issues regarding harmonization of regulations, supply an interstate liquidity-sharing model; and provide a common set of industry standards and regulations. Woodard feels that such a bill needs to be introduced simultaneously in several states at the earliest possible. Such a bill will force legislatures to either act or at least start debating its pros and cons.
Woodard also says that, in addition to a consensus bill, each state requires a committee of poker players to lobby for the introduction of that bill in their respective legislatures. This, he feels, is “a much more efficient approach to advocating for regulated online poker in America.”
Woodard further says that the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States has created a draft of this consensus bill. He also says that he has drafted a bill of his own, which he expects to be introduced in the legislature of his state in the following session. He also points out that Martin Shapiro, who plays poker under the moniker PokerXanadu has drafted a federal-level poker bill, which can be modified into a state-level, consensus bill. Shapiro has also created a set of regulatory guidelines that can become part of this bill. He opines that the Poker Players’ Association is also capable of creating a draft of their own as they have high-qualified staff members and the required infrastructure.
At the same time, he admits that getting such a bill into the legislature is no easy task. It is also worth noting that not all the fifty US states would be interested in a consensus bill. Some of them will not want to legalize online poker.