US Online Poker Bill Set To Be Introduced This Week
The past few years have been filled with online gambling proposals in the US Congress, many of which came courtesy of Representative Barney Frank. The Massachusetts lawmaker has been attempting to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act since its inception in 2006.
Unfortunately for online poker players, Frank has thus far failed in his attempt to end prohibition. This week, a Republican lawmaker, Rep. Joe Barton, will unveil the first Conservative-led plan for a regulated online poker industry in the country. Barton is expected to propose his legislation in the next couple of days.
Unlike Frank, Barton is in the party that has long opposed any changes to the UIGEA. The recent crackdown on Internet gambling has online poker players furious, however, and they have begun to contact their local legislators. Barton believes the time is right for a change to the current laws.
“This is not a Republican leadership initiative, but they’re aware of it,” said Barton, to the Las Vegas Sun. “It’s a sensitive issue, but an issue where there’s a majority consensus in the House and Senate to make this change.”
Barton is being supported in his effort by Frank and Rep. John Campbell. The latter has already introduced legislation in the House Financial Services Committee, but the bill has not been discussed with Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus against online gambling regulation.
Several of the most prominent voices in the fight against regulation have backed off their stance in recent months. With pressure mounting from millions of Americans to change the laws, legislators have begun to examine the issue more closely. Barton’s bill was crafted with the guidance of the Poker Players Alliance, one of the largest poker lobbying groups in the country.