The American Gaming Association Will Not Back Barton's Online Poker Bill
Organization to Push its Own Piece of Legislation in Upcoming Months
Frank Fahrenkopf, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association, has said that his organization will not support Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011, and instead will continue with plans to introduce its own version of a federal online poker bill this fall, according to egrmagazine.com.
Fahrenkopf told Card Player back in May that the AGA was in the midst of a process to draft an online poker bill in the next month or so. The group’s bill would “generate some revenue for the states involved, the states where the bettors are, and revenue to the federal government because there will now be tracking on winnings. People who are winning at online poker will have to pay income tax.” Under the AGA’s potential bill, the federal government would only benefit from accurate measures to collect income tax from players. Barton’s bill calls for such things as fines and user fees to be collected and used by the federal government.
According to egrmagazine.com, another stark contrast between Barton’s bill and what the AGA is set on pursuing is in regards to whether states are automatically opted into offering online poker, unless expressly stated otherwise. Fahrenkopf and the AGA say that state officials have to confirm that online poker is OK for their respective state.
Shortly after the introduction of Barton’s bill in late June, the AGA released a statement stating its support for the licensing and regulation of online poker in the U.S., but not explicitly for the Texan’s idea for online poker regulation. The AGA said that although it “has not endorsed any specific legislation on this issue, we are pleased that Rep. Barton wants to protect American consumers and understands the need for regulating online poker in our country.”
Fahrenkopf told Card Player that his idea for an end to the murky legal waters is federal legislation that would align fundamentally with the constitution, allowing states to decide on the issue. “You have to make sure each state has the right to say yay or nay,” Fahrenkopf said.
For Barton and Fahrenkopf, the two men who are currently offering the best chance at regulated online poker in the U.S., the difference of opinion appears to be rooted in how much discretion the states should have in this multi-billion dollar a year industry. Stay tuned to Card Player for more coverage.
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