The Fight: Online Gambling Bill, PPA Goes to Washington

Could John Campbell pass an online gambling bill after failures from Barney Frank and Harry Reid?

Could John Campbell pass an online gambling bill after failures from Barney Frank and Harry Reid?

This week on The Fight, a bill with sponsorship on both sides of the aisle that would regulate online gambling, and replace the UIGEA was formally introduced in Congress. In state legislation news, another state considered intrastate poker while the Poker Players Alliance went to the one state that considers playing online poker a felony to lobby for legislation to overturn that law.

On March 17th, House Representative John Campbell (R-CA) introduced HR 1174, entitled the “Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act”. The title is the same as Barney Frank’s HR 2267, and early word from those that got an early look at the bill itself say the legislation is the same as the bill that passed the House Financial Services Committee in July 2010, but never reached the House floor. HR 1174 already has three Representatives co-sponsoring the legislation: Peter King (R-NY), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Frank. The bill has has been referred to three House committees: the House Financial Services Commitee, led by long-time gambling opponent Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the House Judiciary Committee, with Lamar Smith (R-TX) in charge and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, with Fred Upton (R-MI) in command. The next step in the process would be hearings, so expect progress on #campbill to be slow going for now.

While Congress finally gets their act together on online gambling legislation, another state moved forward with a bill that would offer intrastate online poker to their state’s residents. This week, Florida’s Senate Regulated Industries Committee passed by a 10-2 vote SB 712, would allow the state’s cardrooms to establish online poker rooms. Under the proposal, Florida’s poker rooms in horseracing, greyhound and jai alai venues would combine their player liquidity into a central poker network with a 10% tax on gross receipts. More developments on this legislation as they become available.

The Poker Players Alliance headed to Washington state on March 17th to lobby state legislators to overturn their state law that makes playing online poker a felony in the state. Major poker sites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have banned state residents from playing on their respective sites in late 2010 after the state Supreme Court refused to strike down the bill that passed in 2006. According to a press release issued by the PPA, a 2010 poll of Washington state residents opposed the bill, with over 50 percent stating that online poker should be licensed, regulated and taxed.

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Kevin Mathers

Widely known by his twitter handle "Kevmath", many consider Kevin a go-to source for news and information in the poker community. Kevin finished on the bubble in the 2014 edition of the BLUFF Power 20.
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