Rather than seeking to ban online poker in the U.S., our elected officials should instead seek to license the game. Adults should have the right to play poker in their own homes on their own computers if they so choose.
Appropriate regulation of online poker will put the U.S. in charge of safeguarding responsible adult players, preventing underage participation and protecting those with excessive gaming habits. The current, unregulated U.S. marketplace does not guarantee a single consumer protection.
With the recent Justice Department determination that the Wire Act applies to sports betting only (and not to person-to-person games of skill like poker or even to house banked casino-style games of chance), it is time for Congress to revisit this issue.
HR 2366, Rep. Barton’s (R-TX) Online Poker Act, is pending in the House. This bill takes the right approach. It provides revenue for the federal deficit and creates new jobs -- without raising taxes. It also mandates strong consumer protection and effective age verification. U.S.-based horse race wagering sites have proven that online betting sites can successfully implement these protections.
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