U.S. Online Gambling Legislation Introduced

18 March 2011

The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act was introduced in the House yesterday. This bill is identical to the one that Congress Barney Frank got passed out of the House Financial Services Committee last summer but never got to the House for debate with one difference. This one was introduced by California Republican Congressman John Campbell.

There is hope that having Campbell will bring a more bipartisan mixture into the debate and maybe allow for this bill to have a solid chance to go through. In essence this bill will overturn the 2006 UIGEA legislation and put in force ways the federal government could regulate online gambling in the United States.

Congressman Campbell was very active in getting some amendments to the original bill passed and showed a strong interest in getting this bill to the House floor. In part this legislation says:

“It contains strong protections to prevent minors from gambling online; prevents inappropriate online advertising targeted toward underage or compulsive gamblers; clarifies the effect of this act on Indian tribes; requires consultation with tribes in implementation; prohibits licensees from accepting bets or wagers from persons on the self-excluded list of compulsive gamblers and persons delinquent with child support payments; prevents the use of a credit card to gamble online; clarifies an exception for intrastate and intra-tribal online lotteries; prohibits sports betting; requires that players set financial loss limits; strengthens regulatory requirements re: integrity and fairness; bans violators of federal and state gambling laws from obtaining a license; and requires a substantial U.S. presence as a condition of obtaining a license.”

Poker Players Alliance Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato said in a press release concerning this legislation,

“The great American game of poker has long been ingrained in our country’s proud history and, as with so many other facets of life, has migrated in the technological age to an online format. Given that millions of Americans currently play online poker, states across the country are recognizing the value in licensing and regulating the game and many are introducing their own laws to allow for residents to play in a safe, regulated market while collecting millions in tax revenue.

However, instead of a patchwork of state laws limiting the pool of players against whom residents can play and serving to only protect the Americans in those states, the time is now for Congress to step up and pass federal legislation, like the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, that allows the entire country to benefit.”

According to some of the comments from the major U.S. casino companies as of late, this is exactly what they are looking for. Maybe this time their lobbying money will be used for the U.S. online gamblers and not against them.

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