A couple of months after the Obama administration savaged the American online poker community, Rep Joe Barton (Republican-Texas) came to the rescue. Rep. Barton authored this latest attempt to return this traditional American game of skill to millions of weekly online poker players.
“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, who gathered a bipartisan group of lawmakers to support the bill.
The new American poker bill is very protective of the country’s gambling industry and for the first two years, online poker licenses will be only awarded to existing American poker rooms, casinos and race tracks.
The bill would ensure that American gambling conglomerates would have two years to solidify their positions prior to opening up the U.S. online poker market to foreign competition.
If the bill is enacted, for an online poker sites in America to become licensed, the applicant would have to prov that they are capable of stopping minors from playing, don’t have a criminal past, are fair, will pay taxes and combat money laundering.
The new American poker bill ensures that each state has the option to opt out, by passing individual state laws prohibiting online poker.
Current American gambling laws do not prohibit online poker but forbid all financial institutions who do business in the United States from transferring money resulting from or used for gambling by the American consumers.
“We want to have an iron-clad system to make sure that those who play for money are playing in an honest, fair system where they can reap the benefits of their winnings,” Barton added. “To put it simply, this bill is about having the personal freedom to play a skill-based game you enjoy without fear of breaking the law.”
The next stop on the road to enactment is the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.