Congressman Robert Wexler, Democrat of Florida, recently proposed the Skill Gaming Protection Act which aims to carve-out poker, as a skill game, from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. Backing for Wexler’s Bill has been steadily growing, and now consists of 12 politicians who have signed on with their support.
The first to sign on to Wexler’s campaign was Bennie Thompson [Miss-D] in late June. From there, the list has quickly expanded to include the following 11 co-sponsors:
- Gary Ackerman [New York-D]
- Shelley Berkley [Nevada-D]
- Michael Capuano [Mass-D]
- Steve Cohen [Tennessee-D]
- Alcee Hastings [Florida-D]
- John Larson [Conn-D]
- James Moran [Virginia-D]
- Tim Ryan [Ohio-D]
- Linda Sanchez [Calif-D]
- Edolphus Towns [New York-D]
- Anthony Weiner [New York-D]
The rapid growth of support for Wexler’s Bill coincides with a widely read interview published by PokerNews.com, where Wexler often emphasized the importance of American poker playing citizens to contact their local representatives and congressmen and relay their desire for a more liberal US government in relation to online poker, and to protest the UIGEA and several other legislations that prohibit a citizens personal pastime.
Robert Wexler is also a co-sponsor of Congressman Barney Frank’s [Mass-D] initiative, Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA), which would effectively reverse the UIGEA. The IGREA seeks to legalize the regulation and taxation of online gambling operators through licensing. According to Frank’s Bill, to be approved for such a license, an operator must display protective measures against problem and underage gambling, as well as competent security and payout abilities for their member.
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