Congress May Receive New Online Poker Legislation Via Joe Barton

Joe BartonThe online poker landscape is currently small in the United States with only Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey having passed legislation to offer the option. However, additional state are in the works to offer such gaming if measures can move through the appropriate channels. States may not have to worry about individual legislation if United States Representative Joe Barton introduces a bill to federally legalize online poker gaming. The representative is considering introducing another online poker bill in the near future, having attempted such legislation in the past.

Other attempts to pass legislation by Barton failed to move forward. Barton now may try to provide legislation that would allow online gaming on a federal level. The bill would be a countermeasure towards the Sheldon Adelson backed legislation, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. Both Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz are pushing the legislation to put a stop to online gaming within the United States.

Barton has tried unsuccessfully in the past to present online poker legislation for gaming to be allowed in the states. Beginning in 2011, Barton introduced measures, even one in 2013, that have failed to move forward. The Internet Poker Freedom Act was introduced by Barton in 2013 but never even made it to the House for voting. In discussion on the subject of a new measure, Barton has been very cryptic of the details that would be included in the legislation. He has stated that it is ironic that the game of Texas Hold’em Poker is played legally everywhere except in Texas, stating that one day that would change.

With many states in the US facing budget constraints, online gambling has become a topic of discussion. Online gaming could easily bring in revenues to help with state budget needs, but there are still opponents of such gaming options. Many supporters of the RAWA legislation believe that online gaming is dangerous as it is too easy to access and places a casino essentially in every home. A moral argument is one that is often included when discussing the disadvantage of online gaming. Legislators as well as individuals believe that having the option to gamble from home might be a mistake.

However, proponents would argue that offering gambling addiction services and premium features to help control the issue is the answer. Online gaming is already taking place with millions of players accessing offshore sites that are not regulated or licensed within the US. This means residents in the US are using their money to take part in gaming despite the US not offering federal legislation.

This unregulated activity means that offshore sites are profiting from Americans game play. Not only that, but players are at risk of losing money. Such sites as Lock Poker allowed players to take part in online poker gaming and have now shut down, leaving players without payouts for more than 2 years. Players can easily get caught up in game play only to find out their hard-earned cash is out of their reach when dealing with unregulated gaming options.

Representative Barton has stated that he believes the decision to gamble should be left up to the player themselves. Players should have the right to choose if they want to enjoy online gaming in the comfort of their own home. Barton has stated that those who think they should be telling people how to live their lives and states how to run their businesses must not see the constitution as he does. The new legislation that Barton may introduce would be similar to the measure he created in 2013 which would allow for online poker only, without additional gaming such as casino and sports betting.