Everybody knows that it’s high time for poker to get regulated and one of the people who are most adamant about this is Representative Joe Barton. Long since an ally of the poker industry, Joe Barton is trying to push a poker bill through the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has quite a number of allies at his side, among them Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. John Campbell, both of whom have tried to introduce poker bills themselves but ultimately fell short. This time, Joe Barton’s bill is more comprehensive and definitely better, but it still has a number of kinks that need to be worked through.
What Barton wants is pretty much what every poker player in America wants: Consumer Protection. The IUGEA has put the American poker players in a precarious position. It’s legal for them to play poker online, but it’s illegal for any establishment to process the payments made through online poker. As such, you can play your heart out but you won’t be able to reap the benefits of all your efforts. This bill will create an interstate licensing program that can be applied to by the online poker sites. The states can choose whether or not they really want to allow poker or not, so ultimately, the choice would lie with the people. After all, Americans should have the choice to partake in poker or not since it is a game of skill and not just a game of luck. Furthermore, poker is pretty much considered as an All-American game, so outlawing it in the United States would be tantamount to outlawing burgers and fries. The new bill would allow Americans to play poker without fear of breaking the law.
Feasibility of the Bill
However, the big question in this issue is whether Barton’s bill will succeed where others have not. Experts say that the new bill is more comprehensive and addresses several issues that have been criticized in the previous bills put forward. There are still some imperfections in the bill, so in the end, it still might not get passed. It’s difficult to hope for the best when so many others have failed before. But Barton has some pretty strong allies on his side this time, so perhaps they will be able to sway the committee, especially now that pressing issues have been brought about by the Black Friday incident.
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