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New Online Gambling Bill Rolled Out In United States


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Even though in recent months the U.S. Department of Justice has seized and shut
down many popular online poker rooms in its ongoing crackdown on online
gambling, on Friday last week Republican representative, Joe Barton,
rolled out his HR 2366 bill, with a view to legalising and regulating
online poker in America.

Barton rolled out his new bill to the House Energy
and Commerce Committee, of which he is the chairman. When unveiling it, he
described poker as an ‘all-American’ game, and one which requires poker players
to employ both skill and strategy, the implication being that poker is very
different to most ‘luck-based’ casino games.

Poker is a skill-based game that should be legalised

Said Barton, ‘Millions of Americans play poker online. We want to have an iron
clad system to ensure that those who play for money are playing in an honest,
fair system where they can reap the benefits of their winnings.’

He also
pointed out that his bill is aimed at providing American gambling fans with the
personal freedom to enjoy a skill-based game such as online poker, without
breaking the law. Currently Barton’s bill has the support of 11 politicians,
including Barney Frank, who has himself tried for years to get online gambling
legalised.

Americans should be free to choose to play online poker

Interestingly, one of the bills supporters is Republican John Campbell of
California, who admitted that even though he does not gamble, he understands
that freedom is not about legalising what he likes or illegalising what he
doesn’t, but giving responsible Americans the freedom to choose for themselves
whether to gamble online or not.

If the bill is passed, only the biggest and
most reputable U.S. land casinos, cards rooms and racing tracks will be able to
apply for online gambling licenses, a clause that critics have already labelled
as ‘protectionist.’ In addition, to play on these licensed and regulated online
poker rooms, players must be 21-years-old or older.

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