Online poker bill passes committee 41-22

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 28, 2010 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

The House Financial Services Committee easily passed HR 2267, a bill that would legalize and regulate certain forms of online gambling, including online poker. With 41 yea’s, 22 nay’s, and one congressman choosing to vote “Present”, the bill will now be sent to the House floor for further debate, modification, and the usual nonsensical speeches that accompany every piece of legislation.

The bill did see some amendments in the mark-up process, most notably prohibiting any online poker sites who have broken US law from attaining a license –this would include PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and every other US-friendly poker-room—it remains to be seen if poker sites that catered to US players prior to 2006 will also be prohibited.

One good sign for poker players was the bipartisan support the bill received, since it bridges the gap between personal liberties and increased tax revenue; two points that Republicans and Democrats both agree on.

There is also a piece of companion legislation introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) which would set the taxation structure for licensed online gambling sites. There is also a slightly pared down version that was introduced in the Senate by Robert Menendez (D-NJ) which seeks to legalize only games of skill. The final product between the House and Senate would likely be a combination of the two bills.

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