Regulate Online Poker – U.S. Rep Joe BartonJuly 16, 2012
Joe Barton, U. S.Rep, is pushing for the regulation of online poker bill before the end of this year’s congressional session. In recent times, the regulation of online poker in the United Stateshas been a debatable topic, as is evident from recent congressional hearings, with its pros and cons being advocated by its supporters and critics respectively.
Online Poker is Skill-Based – Barton
Barton, R-Ennis, has come out in favor for the regulation of the online poker bill. According to Barton, online poker should not be considered as a form of gambling as it is a skill-based game. Barton went on to add that the online version of the game should not be declared illegal as it is not a crime.
Before the end of the annual congressional session, Barton, with the support of his colleagues, hopes to sanction interstate licensing of the online poker industry which is valued at over $5.5 billion. Barton adds that this revenue could significantly enhance the coffers of every state. Although, Barton admits, this is not a vital financial matter for theUSpeople; the regulation of online poker should not be taken lightly.
Barton Garners Support from Colleagues and Poker Industry
The proposal to regulate online poker has garnered numerous supporters including co-sponsors such as Peter King ofNew Yorkand Shelley Berkley ofNevada. Veterans of the poker industry have also voiced their approval for Barton’s bill.
According to the Director of Poker Players Alliance based in Washington D.C, John Pappas, the Government has recognized that the issue cannot be ignored for much longer. Pappas further stated that online poker is here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity. Poker sites continue to grow from strength to strength such as Bet24 with the inclusion of more players every week.
Online Poker Bill Festering Ground for Illegal Activities – Critics
In light of the new bill, critics have come forwarded and harpooned the various benefits touted by Barton. According to an advisor of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, Rob Kohler, regulating online poker is a bad idea and will only create more problems and anti-social elements.
Kohler adds that it will become hard to monitor and control the safety and security that sites provide for players. Kohler has provided assurance that the critics will not sit back languidly and watch the bill become a law, but, will, instead, oppose it when it is brought into the light.
Barton Ensures Appropriate Safety and Legal Precautions
In a bid to calm the critics, Barton has ensured them that every precaution will be taken to protect the personal and financial information of players. Barton went on to declare that players will be provided a safe and secure gambling environment with anti-collusion and anti-fraud programs in place.
Barton is keen to provide US players a US-based site to play online poker so that the casino will be governed by the laws of theUS. The states which permit online poker will have to formulate strict policies that control tax evasion, money laundering and illegal game play.
Barton further states that only players above the legal limit of age will be permitted to play at these casino sites. Terming the game as an all-American one, Barton stated that the game is played by millions everyday and that the country will be losing out on a large amount of revenue if it continues to ignore the situation.