Legalized US Online Poker May Follow Market Shut Down

May 29, 2011

Republican Congressman Joe Barton out of Texas is planning on introducing some legislation to regulate and legalize online poker in the US this summer. After the virtual wipe out of a large part of the US Internet poker market by the US Department of Justice beginning on April 15th and still apparently going on, Barton will hopefully be making moves here shortly.

Barton has long supported online poker and is an advocate of poker as a game of skill. Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato out of New York agrees with Barton and says, “It seems to me rather ludicrous that we permit gambling like lotteries and horse racing on the Internet, but we say no, a game of skill like poker, you can’t play.”

Barton explains that the online poker industry was attacked because the online poker companies were using shell companies and under the radar banks to process illegal payments, as were the additional online gambling sites that were shut down last week. Because these companies broke the law in the “transactional elements” of their business, meaning in the sending and receiving of funds through other online companies, they were shut down.

D’Amato has said on the record that he believes Barton’s bill will pass. Because Barton’s reputation is unflawed and his credibility is good, he has a good chance. His basic argument is to give “a basic right to people to use the Internet.” He adds, “We use the Internet for a lot of other things that aren’t so nice like pornography. You don’t ban that, but you ban poker?”

Barton is still working on the bill, finishing it up, and he is optimistic that it will pass in both houses of Congress this session.


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