Joe Barton Internet Poker Bill Could be Ready in Next Few Days

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Internet Poker

A bill to legalize Internet poker in the United States could be ready by as early as this coming week.

Congressman Joe Barton of Texas, a Republican, plans to gear his bill towards states that currently permit gambling while others will be permitted to opt out.  Barton’s push for legalizing Internet poker in the US has been met with support even from the most hardened industry opponents, including Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama.  The bill would be steered through the House Financial Services Committee, which ironically comes under Mr. Bachus’ control. 

The state of Nevada would likely be in charge of overseeing and licensing online poker sites.  A companion bill has already passed in that state and was signed by the Nevada Governor last week.   States like New Jersey, where gambling is also legal, could also capitalize from the new federal law.  New Jersey was among the first to push for legalizing Internet gambling within its borders this year. 

A spokesman for Barton confirmed the bill is in the final stages of drafting and expected to be released very shortly. 

The Internet poker sector has suffered worldwide as a result of actions taken by the US Justice Department on April 15.  Three online poker rooms were indicted on bank fraud and money laundering charges.  All were forced out of the US.  Two of those companies, Full Tilt Poker and, have been unable or unwilling to pay their US customers while slow paying players in other countries. 

- Chris Costigan, Publisher

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