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A bill to regulate online poker introduced by the US Senate

October 01, 2008

Sen. Robert Menendez brought up a new legislation this week that will legally define poker as a skill game and there for create a regulatory environment for the casino game to be offered online in the USA. The bill is the 1st piece of legislation concentrating on online casino gaming that has been brought up in the US Senate since the UIGEA was passed. Similar legislation that attempted to repeal or redefine the UIGEA have been previously introduced in the House of Representatives.

Menendez's stated "Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act" calls on the U.S. Treasury Department to set up a licensing framework for games that use "simulated cards, dice, or tiles in which success is predominantly determined by the sill of the players." The bill includes "poker, bridge and mahjong" as examples of skill games. The bill also lists allowed bets as wagers "made with respect to the outcome of an Internet skill game that is a non-housed bank game."

"The PPA has long advocated for thoughtful and effective licensing and regulation of online poker as a means to protect vulnerable communities, such as children and compulsive gamblers, and provide appropriate controls to thwart consumer fraud and abuse," stated Alfonse D'Amato, the chairman of Poker Players Alliance. "Senator Menendez's legislation is the right vehicle to achieve those goals."

Alfonse D'Amato also added that "This action by Senator Menendez is yet another example that prohibitions on Internet gambling, and specifically poker, will not work to protect consumers,".

Under this new legislation online gaming operators will be able to receive licenses for one year and will need to pay a licensing fee as well as annual renewal fees. And individual states and Native American Tribes have the right to "opt out" of the legislation and prohibit Internet gambling within their borders.

The bill also calls for actions that will be necessary to take in order for:

  • People under the age of 18 are not allowed to gamble.
  • Operators only accepts bets from jurisdictions in which it's legal.
  • Operators pay taxes.
  • Money laundering laws are obeyed.
  • Privacy laws are followed.
  • Programs for "social problems" are in place.

  • Good Luck

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