Just a short time after Senator Lindsey Graham introduced legislation to ban online poker in the US, Representative Joe Barton of Texas introduced a bill in favor of legalized iPoker gaming. Barton introduced the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2015 as a third effort by the representative to move forward with online poker on a federal level.
In a press release after the introduction, Barton stated that Poker is an All-American game and one that he learned as a teen and continues to play today. Like millions of other poker players, Barton enjoys the strategy and skill involved in the game. Barton says he will continue to support Americans who play poker online.
Barton first tried to introduce online poker legislation in 2011 with the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011. In 2013 he tried to introduce a similar bill, both times without seeing his legislation move forward.
This new bill will prohibit any unlicensed Internet poker from taking place by enforcing large fines and jail time. The new measure places an operator as ineligible for obtaining licensing if they were convicted of accepting wagers or bests via Internet poker. There are also several provisions in the bill that will protect consumers from offshore online poker operators. Prevention of minor gambling as well as money laundering, problem gambling and identity theft are also included.
Barton stated that his bill is needed now more than ever. According to the representative, the bill will create on federal standard that will protect the integrity of the game as well as the financial interests of players who take part, at the same time protecting American consumers from predatory overseas gambling operations.
The Poker Players Alliance has shown support of the new bill by stating Barton’s measure is common sense public policy and will allow qualifying states to pool players and create a more robust market that will drive consumer satisfaction and increase revenues earned by the state. With the new measure, states will have the option to choose not to participate in online poker.
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