Federal Poker Bill Challenged By Legal Expert

US Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl are having their federal poker bill challenged by legal expert, Paul Clement, based on a recent memorandum written by the former solicitor general. According to a recent report by PokerNews, the drafted poker bill may be found unconstitutional if it moves though Congress, based on a few factors found in the memorandum.

Clement is the former United States solicitor general who served under President George W. Bush and he raised concerns about the online poker bill. The Poker Players Alliance asked Clement’s legal opinion and the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Clement found flaws in the bill. These flaws referred to the punishment of offshore sites that operated in the United States after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement At in 2006.

The bill has a portion that states such sites will be prohibited from obtaining a license for the first five years after the poker bill is enacted. Clement states that this measure has ‘serious due process concerns.’

Just last month, Clement told Reid and Kyl of his findings and he stated, on paper, that the bill is more of a nonstarter than a similar bill that died in Congress two years ago. Both senators have tried to move the bill along and are now running out of time.

In a memo to Kyl, Clement stated: “In my view, the 2012 act suffers from the exact same problems as the 2010 act, and in some instances, the 2012 act’s constitutional infirmities are even more pronounced.” Kyl and Reid have yet to comment on the memo but Reid’s spokesperson stated that the bill is ‘still being written’.

Clement is a specialist in constitutional and has represented the government with over five dozen cases that went before the Supreme Court. Clement is now in a private practice and analyzed the draft bill after the PPA requested him to. The PPA supports online poker but has called for specific changes in the online poker bill draft.


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