American Gaming Association (AGA) to Propose Online Poker Bill

13 July 2011

The American Gaming Association (AGA) publically showed a cool response to Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) federal online poker bill last week. In an address last week AGA chief Frank Fahrenkopf said his group was “not opposing [Barton’s bill], but we are not supporting it.” He said the AGA would throw its entire wait into a mystery bill.

Fahrenkopf then said this mystery bill would differ from Barton’s proposal mainly in the way states are involved. In the mystery bill, states would have to opt in and regulation and licensing would be delegated to “those states that have the longest history in gaming regulation, that have the law enforcement on staff and the financial wherewithal to do tough regulation. Probably, that only means Nevada and New Jersey.”

How could the AGA know so much about this mystery bill? Now we know, Fahrenkopf in a speech yesterday at the Gaming Executive Summit in Madrid, Spain, announced the AGA will submit its own version of an online poker bill. The bill will come this fall and will exclusively deal with poker. Fahrenkopf also said that the AGA will not support the Barton Bill or any of those submitted before it.

Other than what was said earlier last week by Fahrenkopf above, other things we now know about the AGA bill is that it will not carry a federal tax.

“Taxes would be divided between the states where the bettor is, with the state where the regulator is,” said Fahrenkopf. “The federal government would only receive the income tax on winnings.”

Participation in gambling will not be automatic either. Each state will have to get approval and take action to let their state residents gamble. Fahrenkopf also doesn’t think individual states should organize and regulate online poker and suggests a “penalty box” for companies that have been charged with illegally operating Internet poker.

It seems since the U.S. Government has cleared the way in the U.S. online poker industry, people are coming out from all sides wanting to be the ones that propose how we regulate it. You just have to wonder where these people were when U.S. online poker players needed them the most.

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