New Online Poker Bill Introduced to House

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There’s a new online poker bill going before the house, thanks to Republican U.S. Representative Joe Barton, who introduced it on Friday last, June 24, 2011, with the support of four of his Republican colleagues and six of his Democratic ones.

The bill would allow for the licensing, taxation and regulation of Internet poker, with licensure regulated by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The bill stipulated that certain concerns would have to be addressed should it become law, including how to prevent minors for playing at online poker sites and how to deal with gambling addiction. The bill also forbids the use of credit cards to fund online poker accounts, although an otherwise would-be supporter of such a bill, the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, came out against it for this very reason, asserting that such restrictions were to stringent and had no place in such legislation.

The Poker Players Alliance, headed up by former Senator Alfonse D’Amato and the biggest poker lobbying organization in the country, is all in favor of the proposed legislation.

The name of Barton’s bill, or H.R. 2366, is the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011. Among its co-sponsors is Barton’s fellow-Texan and a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, Ron Paul. Also on board, unsurprisingly, is Democratic Representative from Massachusetts, Barney Frank, who previous introduced two other bills before Congress to legalize online gambling, both of which went nowhere.

Legalized online poker in the U.S. took a big blow backward on April 15, 2011 when the U.S. Department of Justice raided several online poker operations for doing business in the United States, including three of the largest poker sites: Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars and Absolute Poker.