Joe Barton, who is a Republican and an important member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has proposed legislation to license and regulate online poker in the United States. The bill is named the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011.
Taken from the Hill, Joe Barton said that “poker is an all-American game, and it’s a game that requires strategy and skill. Millions of Americans play poker online”. He has plenty of support for the proposed bill including supporters and co-sponsors Reps. Shelley Berkley, John Campbell, and Steve Cohen.
Michael Waxman, who represents the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, said that the proposed bill “provides a needed path toward the regulation of Internet gambling activity in a way that is guaranteed to protect consumers, create new jobs and grow our economy”. He also made a great point suggesting that they should approve the bill to aid the US’s economic recovery by “taking control of an already-thriving underground industry”.
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative also made clear than Barton had clearly thought about the safety of consumers from fraud, money laundering and identity theft. They also said the bill, if approved, will create thousands of jobs and make the US economy billions of dollars in revenue.
The bill outlines stringent requirements for licensed operators to adhere to including self-exclusion policies and processes. The bill unfortunately outlawed using credit cards for gambling activity. Barton indicated that there has been pressure for regulated online gambling due to the recent indictments by the Department of Justice – read the original story here.
There is now overwhelming pressure on the US government to seriously look at this bill and others proposed recently. H2 Gambling Capital, which supply data and market intelligence on the gambling industry, said regulated gambling (not including sports) in the US would generate $67 billion in 5 years as well as create 25,470 jobs.