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Barton Bill May Be Close

According to Washington, D.C. insider website, Representative Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, may introduce a bill about online poker as early as this week.

As Barton planned, the bill will start in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which he has headed in the past. Many believe the bill will pass through that committee more easily than it would in the House Financial Services Committee, as that is headed by the outspoken online poker opponent Spencer Bachus of Alaska.

The current chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, has supported poker initiatives in his past votes.

The legislation proposes that online poker websites must be registered in a state that already allows gambling, such as Nevada or New Jersey, and a new federal gaming commission would be created to regulate the sites.

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Will Horowitz