On account of several US online poker fan groups supporting Barton’s bill that hoped to legalize online poker, many have taken a defensive measure asking about the rules which are supposed to be put in place.
The bill framed by Rep. Joe Barton of Texas with contributions from Republican lawmakers such as Long Island’s Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, will allow US states to vote on wanting to let its people to play online poker or not. The bill also cites the need for US online poker operators to have existing gambling licenses in at least one American state.
People from the Chicago based NGO, Heartland Institute, appreciated the bill for trying to allow online poker to be played in the US again after the Black Friday indictments. They are however keeping in mind that a few mandatory rules still have to put in place.
Maureen Martin, Senior Partner of Heartland Institute said, “This bill is indeed good news, but for now, if you’ll pardon the pun, I’m keeping a ‘poker face’ on at least one part of it.”
“Legalizing online poker is an outstanding idea, but establishing still another federal agency to regulate it is where I’m going to hold, for two reasons. First, many online poker platforms are based in foreign countries, and thus are beyond the regulatory powers of the United States. Second, if these platforms cheat customers, that’s fraud. It’s already illegal in the United States and such laws are enforced by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Enough is enough,” she added.
Several Republican lawmakers believe that Barton’s bill is essential for the country’s economy to benefit from the revenues made through these online poker games. “We’re going to try to get a bill on the President’s desk in this Congress,” Barton said.
The issue also took a new twist recently, when Barton decided to host a press conference to talk about the legalization of online poker. He advocated that the “Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011” will not only make online gambling legal but also create a federal agency to oversee its administration.
Barton also mentioned that poker is a game of skill and not chance which has invalidated the indictments against poker operators. Earlier, legalization of online poker had Democrats’ support but now Barton has supported to bill as it would create thousands of employment opportunities and good tax revenue. Now, the test lies in getting the bipartisan support to legalize the bill.