Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas (AP)

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas (AP)

Internet Poker Freedom Act Aims for Federal Regulation

Late July 11, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced legislation to license and regulate online poker—and not other forms of online gambling, reported TheHill.com.

While a 2011 Justice Department decision opened doors for states to permit online gambling within their borders, the Internet Poker Freedom Act would allow sites to operate nationally. The bill, which would give states the opportunity to opt out of the federal system, would require poker websites to be licensed, technology to bar underage players and programs to help compulsive gamblers.

The bill references the United States v. DiCristina ruling, which recognized poker as a game of skill, reported PokerNews.com.

The Act states: “There is uncertainty about the laws of the United States governing Internet poker, though not about laws governing Internet sports betting. In United States v. DiCristina a Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York held that poker is a game in which skill is the predominant factor in determining the outcome and that in passing the Illegal Gambling Businesses Act, Congress only intended to criminalize clear games of chance.

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