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A Closer Look at Barton's Bill

Legislation was Introduced into the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday


Citing poker as a game of skill, Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011 (H.R.2366), will give the states the right to choose whether or not they want to offer internet poker, as states are automatically opted in under the legislation, but have the right to decline.

For the short-term, the only companies qualified to obtain a license will be well-established brick-and-mortar casinos, race tracks and card rooms located in the U.S. The operator pool may be expanded after two years.

The bill, which clarifies the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, states that holding an online poker “license is a privilege, not a right,” and that a decision by a “qualified state agency not to grant a person a license or certificate of suitability, or to terminate a license, or revoke a certificate of suitability, is not reviewable under federal law or the law of any jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction of the qualified state agency.”

Each license is granted on a five-year term, and would require the licensee to ensure that the poker player is at least 21, that the participant is located in a jurisdiction where the activity is permissible, that all taxes associated with online poker play are reported and collected, and that internet poker games are fair and honest. Barton’s bill makes specific reference to “bots,” which make bets or wagers according to algorithms. Criminal penalties would be established for cheating.

In addition, stiff fines, deposited into the Treasury of the United States, and/or imprisonment for up to five years, would result if operating an unlicensed internet poker room. The bill would set up an Office of Internet Poker Oversight in the Commerce Department, which would oversee the issuing of licenses. Also, vendor user fees would help create an Internet Poker Oversight Fund to be used as needed.

The online poker community is still waiting on their funds from multiple sites.In what is perhaps an effort to safeguard against a similar situation with player funds after Black Friday, the bill states that if a license is revoked, an online poker operator must return funds to players within 30 days and place in escrow those funds that are not immediately returnable so to ensure their safekeeping.

In the section detailing measures to insure responsible gaming, the bill interestingly makes a reference to child-support payments. “When it is made known to the Secretary or a qualified state agency by a federal or state court or a competent state agency involved with the administration or enforcement of a court-ordered child support payment that a particular individual is delinquent with respect to court-ordered child support payments, the Secretary shall include that individual on the list [of excluded players]."

Despite the failure of other attempts at federal online poker legislation, Barton’s bill has bipartisan support. So far 11 cosponsors have signed on, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who had his own online poker efforts fail, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

“Poker is an all-American game, and it’s a game that requires strategy and skill. Millions of Americans play poker online. Although it’s legal to play for money, it’s illegal to process the transactions that allow players to collect their earnings,” said Rep. Barton. “We want to have an iron-clad system to make sure that those who play for money are playing in an honest, fair system where they can reap the benefits of their winnings. This bill is about having the personal freedom to play a skill-based game you enjoy without fear of breaking the law.”



almost 11 years ago

"This bill is about having the personal freedom to play a skill-based game you enjoy without fear of breaking the law.” -

Sorry I just have to say this: F%^&*%g morons. Screw you and your pompous fat overcompensated corrupt PUNK asses. You portly pontificating piles of pedantic poo. You don't represent US.


almost 11 years ago

Although it’s legal to play for money, it’s illegal to process the transactions that allow players to collect their earnings,” said Rep. Barton. “

copied and pasted from above article

so what they are saying is i should be able to play online poker right now. so lets gets stars back up and running, i just can't cash out till it is legal.

as for tit and ub i do feel bad for all of you that had cash their, but you had to know it was so hard to get cashouts from both. i got 600 in tilt and 150 in ub. yes im upset about that, but i also know its my own fault there. stars specfically states that thier funds are kept seperate, which is the main reason i played their the most. and guess what my 4300 came out just fine from them.

but as for the above article we need to get some lawyers together and make them obey there own law. we can play we just can't cash out, fine by me.

as for this huge debate over skill or no skill who cares whether its skill or not? that should have no bearing on anything, the daily number is no skill, horse racing is no skill, roulette is no skill, dog races no skill, slot machines no skill.

its not about a skill debate, they throw it out there just to make us all try and convince them , while they just stall wanting a piece of the pie, they got the lotto and daily number pie and roulette and slots so they let it slide, skill or not it makes no difference, its our money.

i mean come on your paying 500-1 on the daily number with 1000-1 odds, but nobody is trying to fix that bunch of bullshit, which is why i don't play the numbers, i also don't play roulette why my odds are bad, i don't play slots either, i can't control the outcome

however none of that matters to our government because they are getting a piece of the pie, they don't care if americans lose millions a years on slots and horses and dogs and dice, because they get some money. so throw the skill debate out the window, and call it what it is, more of the political folks wanting money from it or we can't have it.

on a different but still bullshit political subject, they want start taxing fast foods, now let's look at it this way, if its proven tomorrow that fat people ,obese, and morbidly obese people live longer than vegetarians and vegans, will they start a higher tax on brocolli and carrots and other veggies, so we can all be in the correct form, and live long fat obese lives?

I am so glad I never voted not one person into any damn office in any county, state or white house.

keep up the good work voters, all i ever see is each of your elected in the newspapers and on the news and in jail. your also probably the same ones playing roulette trying to get rich.



almost 11 years ago

I know it's not the place and time to point out but it's too tempting... My weed smoking friend rigac27, you need to figure out the difference between words THERE, THEIR and THEY ARE at first. The second step woud be - YOUR and YOU'RE. Otherwise your statements are losing sence.

Now, regarding the proposed bill. It is not ideal but is MUCH better than nothing. I don't mind if our Government will have a piece of pie here. At list I will be sure that four important to me things will be enforced:
1. My $$ is safe.
2. Every other hand is NOT a bad beat.
3. I will not play against bots.
4. Players are over 21.

And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong if online poker sites will pay taxes to MY Government rather than keeping it off shore.

I am totally for honest and fair game.


almost 11 years ago

rollit isn't such a bad game if you keep track of the ball


almost 11 years ago

@Arturo_ Fuente
It was nice of you to correct rigac27's spelling but you misspelled "sense" while doing it. I'm just sayin' :O)


almost 11 years ago

The current law ia called the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Eforcement Act" But just what the F#$% is "unlawful" internet gambling and where the F&#% is the law that makes it unlawful in the first place.
Hince the petition to President Obama. I hope to get as many signitures as I can so I cand send it by July 4th.
See link below.
Let Freedom Ring


almost 11 years ago

Arturo_Fuente i think u took what said the wrong way, i got no problem paying taxes on it either, and no problem with the government getting taxes either. what i was trying to get across was that they have been trying to shut it down for years cause they didnt have any taxes coming in from it.

now onto the fun side of things, i havent smoked weed in over 15 years, getting married and having kids has that effect on some of us, i know not all of us. my spelling is atrocious for quite a few reasons.
1 i drink way to much daily.
2 i never backspace.
3 i dontgive a shit what my typing is like.
4 i feel if u cant understand it then dont read it.

But i must point out i tried to take my time and actually use apostrophes and some capital letters.
otherwise what you will usually get from me is this;

no caps ever, no apostrophes ever, the use of ur for your and you are, the use of ther for their, there, they are.
so im vry sry my typing skills and grammer r not up 2 par with urs, but i would not change a thing about me.

i also have a question can the high rollers in usa withdrawl 2 mil cash, fly to isle of man and deposit directly into pokerstars?
then fly back in 4 months and personally withdrawl cash from the isle of man? cuz then there is no bank in the usa breaking any laws.

just a theory, or what cpas call tax loopholes,lol