Texas U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, is said to be readying a bill that would make it legal for Americans to bet money on online poker.
It’s about time someone had the balls to try this.
Barton said he was urged to act via Facebook by many of his constituents who play poker online and were upset by a federal crackdown in April on some online poker sites.
Federal officials claimed the sites violated a 2006 law banning payments for online gambling and requiring payment processors to block payments for online bets.
Barton said online poker is not illegal but that processing payments for online poker is unlawful – a discrepancy he said in an interview “doesn’t make sense.”
His bill would authorize payments for online poker games in states where such gambling is legal now. He said he would introduce the bill soon.
Barton, who says he plays poker himself but not online, said he sees poker as different from other forms of online gaming. “Poker is a game of skill,” he said.
Supporters of legislation to legalize online gambling argue that laws trying to stop online poker are ineffective and have done little to stop millions of Americans from gambling online via offshore sites.
They say instead of trying to prohibit Internet gambling, policymakers should tax and regulate it to ensure that those who gamble online are protected. Barton said his bill would put in place rules to regulate online poker and prevent fraud.
Let’s watch this and see what happens.