Headway Made in the Fight For Legalized Online Poker in the US

July 30, 2010

It’s been a long time coming, but Congress finally returned a positive vote on an online gambling regulation bill that went through on Thursday. Barney Frank’s bill was supported by Democrats in the House Financial Services Committee where the vote turned out 34 to 4 in favor of the bill. While this is only just a start, it paves the way for the future of regulated and licensed online poker activity in the US.

Attached to the bill were 14 amendments that would outline the laws of online gambling, should the bill be passed in the future. Most of these amendments work together to prevent addictive behaviors and credit gambling. One amendment actually requires online poker sites to implement technology, allowing players to put a cap on losses. Another provision implies the importance of the random number generator, making sure that the RNG is used and on the up and up. The need for a government study is also included in the bill which will study the problems with gambling under the influence. Also, licensing would be given based on the fact that the majority of staff workers in an online gambling corporation must be employed in the US and all gambling sites receiving licensure would have to be located in the US. Another surprising provision states that credit cards would no longer be used to make deposits. And finally, not very surprising, sportsbetting is a big no-no, with the exception of course of pari mutual racing.

While this is one small step for the US online poker activists, there is opposition to the bill even among proponents of online poker. This bill as it stands, if passed, would ultimately shut out the majority of online gambling brands who dominate the US online poker force. This would in turn open the gates for the big name land-based casinos like Harrah’s to move in and take over.

Time will tell…


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