New bill to create interstate licensing program for Internet poker

Jun 24, 2011 5:05 AM

A bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton, would create an interstate licensing program for Internet poker sites. However, it would give each state the option of not participating.

"At this moment, millions of law-abiding citizens are still playing poker in jurisdictions all over the world," Barton’s office said Thursday in a statement. "Many in places with weak or less than desirable regulatory environments that provide no certainty of legitimacy or safety. This bill will protect them."

The bill is co-sponsored by Nevada Democrat Shelley Berkley, California Republican John Campbell, Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen and several other member of Congress. Campbell has filed similar legislation. Nevada and California are among several states which are considering legislation to legalize online gambling at local levels.

Barton is a senior member of the House Energy Committee and says that he has had assurances from the chairman of that committee that the bill will receive a full hearing this summer.

A press conference will be held at noon in Washington D.C. to discuss details of the bill.

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