A look at the proposed Reid/Kyl online poker bill

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 13, 2012 Posted in Legal Poker News, Online Poker News | No Comments »

A number of different outlets including PokerFuse.com and QuadJacks.com were handed a leaked version of the proposed online poker bill in the United States Senate, giving poker players a look at what the potential legislation would mean for the industry –although at this point the bill looks like yet another dead-end for poker.

Known as the “The Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012” the bill is meant to strengthen existing legislation including the 1961 Wire Act and 1970 Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA) with the exception of online poker and off-track betting, both of which would be legalized and regulated under the proposed bill.

The bill would actually undo certain rulings in the past year that have been favorable to online gaming, but what it would do is clarify precisely what is illegal gambling and what is prohibited. It would also be the first step to full online gaming legalization, with the all-important (and less bombastic) game of poker getting the ball rolling.

Here is a look at some of the measures the bill would call for:

* States could opt-in or opt-out of the bill with a majority vote in each chamber of the state government, with tribes in the state hosting their own vote only if their state voted in favor of the measure.

* The creation of the Office of Online Poker Oversight (OOPO), a new regulatory agency under the Department of Commerce.

* All casino games would be banned, with the exceptions of online poker, off-track betting, and lottery ticket sales.

* The bill would limit the player pool to US residents in states that have opted-in only. International players would not be allowed to participate in US regulated sites.

* Current brick & mortar casinos and some gaming device providers would be eligible for licenses in the first two years of the bill.

* A “Bad Actor” clause would prevent any online gaming provider from the implementation of UIGEA in 2006 through the present from receiving a license for five years.

* A list of regulated online poker sites would be available, and penalties and fines for illegal operating online poker rooms would be increased.

* Licensed operators would be subject to a 16% tax. 14% of the tax would go to the state and tribe with the federal government receiving the remaining 2%, to cover the cost of the OOPO regulatory agency. 70% of this tax will go to the state where the player is located while 30% will go to the state where the provider is licensed.

* The bill preserves all state laws regarding online gaming as of May 2012.

You can read the complete text at QuadJacks.com


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