Originally published: June 26, 2011
Last updated: June 26, 2011 - 1:45pm
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill that would legalize and license online poker sites, two months after the Obama Administration shut down sites used by an estimated 10 million Americans.
“Poker is an all-American game, and it’s a game that requires strategy and skill. Millions of Americans play poker online,” said Rep Joe Barton (R-TX), who authored the bill. The bill would create a licensing regime for online poker, with the Commerce Department creating specific standards under which state and tribal gaming commissions could license poker sites. For the first two years of the program only race tracks, card rooms and casinos of a certain size would be able to secure licenses, meaning the corporations that currently control the U.S. gambling industry will likely dominate online in the short term. The sites would have to prove that they are fair, able to screen out minors, ensure tax collection and prevent money laundering in order to secure licenses. States would be able to opt out of legalizing online poker through legislative means.
Co-sponsors are Shelley Berkley (D-NV), John Campbell (R-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Pete King (R-NY) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA).
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