Federal US Poker Bill Hits Congress
Federal online poker legislation blanketing the United States is back on the judicial table. Republican Peter King from New York has just introduced a bill which would call for one single piece of gambling legislation regulating the entire United States. As you may know, three individual states, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, have each legalized some form of online gambling. But that pertains only to their residents, and travelers located within their state boundaries. The bill introduced by Peter King which now awaits a vote from Congress is titled the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013, and looks to provide a single and uniform ruling for the entire United States.
After presenting his bill to Congress, King addressed assembled reporters, saying, "A common federal standard will ensure strong protections for consumers, protect against problem and underage gambling, and make it easier for businesses, players, lawmakers and regulators to navigate and freely participate." After several attempts at federal legalization of online poker in the United States, potential US Internet poker players may wonder what makes this bill different, and if they should get excited about it at all.
Several things give this particular bill a better chance at success then past legislation packages. First off, the more pieces of legislation which are offered at the federal level promoting online poker in America the better. As each one is presented, it helps future legislation garner support. Also, there is a provision in the King presentation that allows for each individual state to opt out of the proposed federal plan, and either legalize or outlaw online poker and other forms of online gambling.
As a website that promotes safe and fair online poker for United States citizens and visitors, OnlinePokerUnitedStates.net agrees that one piece of blanket legislation covering the entire United States would be the easiest to regulate. US citizens could count on a uniform experience, and ensuring fair and legal play would be easier than 50 different states with 50 different online poker profiles. However, online poker in the United States is still in its infancy. Nevada only recently launched the first US-based legal online poker site, and so far the experience has drawn and nothing but positive reviews, so state-level legislation can work as well.
There are also rumors that Republican Congressman Joe Barton from Texas is preparing to reintroduce his own version of a federal online poker bill in the next few months. While this is another provision for nationwide online poker, it also puts the heat on individual states to move rapidly if they have their own plans for online poker legislation government at the state level. John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, said that his organization will support any federal bill that has merit, but that they are also "looking at opportunities where state bills can be moved." The King proposal would also legalize all forms of online gambling besides online poker, to exclude only online sports betting.