“On behalf of the PPA membership and millions of poker players across the country, I thank Congressman Barton for his commitment to protecting Americans’ freedom to play poker on the Internet,” said Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the PPA. “As recent events have shown, the lack of clarity surrounding online poker has wreaked havoc on Americans who choose to play this great game both for fun and in some cases as their profession. Congressman Barton’s bill aims to bring clarity to the law, while implementing tough consumer protections and providing a mechanism for the Federal and state governments to collect billions of dollars in revenue. ”
The legislation addresses many of the concerns raised in previous Congressional hearings, specifically narrowing the focus to only Internet poker, mandating technologies to protect consumers from fraud and limiting underage access, preserving state’s rights, and ensuring Indian Tribes have the same rights to apply for a license as other entities.
Additionally, the bill would:
• Expressly prohibit accepting Internet bets – poker or otherwise – without a U.S. license, and ensures that licensees can only accept Internet bets on poker.
• Creates specific standards for licenses, modeled after existing land-based gambling licensing procedures.
• Requires qualified bodies to develop a Compulsive Gaming, Responsible Gaming and Self-Exclusion program to help mitigate problem gambling.
• Disallows licensees from accepting deposits via credit card to discourage players from playing on borrowed money.
• Establishes a new U.S. industry creating thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in much needed federal and state revenue.
“This bill reverses years of unclear policy and restores the freedoms of adults to enjoy the great game of poker from the comfort of their own home, with their own money over their own Internet connection. Congressman Barton is recognized as one of the most skilled poker players in the Congress. He is passionate about the game and he is passionate about freedom. We are confident his poker skills will translate well to the political game needed to push his legislation this year. The PPA looks forward to working with Congressman Barton, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, Congressman John Campbell, Congressman Steve Cohen, and the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee as this bill moves forward in the House of Representatives,” continued D’Amato.