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PPA Touts Online Poker Bill

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is staunchly backing the “Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013” that was introduced last week by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).

“This bill was drafted specifically to appeal to the widest array of legislators possible and has the PPA’s full support,” said the grassroots organization’s executive director, John Pappas. “We look forward to working with Congressman Barton as this bill moves forward in the House of Representatives.”

It remains to be seen just how forward the bill will actually progress. Barton has proposed similar legislation in the past that eventually landed in the muck due to lack of support by his colleagues. Critics believe that the newly-proposed HR2666 may experience a much-too-familiar fate synonymous with those past endeavors.

However, Barton’s measure does likely stand a better chance than the online gambling bill proposed by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) last month. King’s proposal aims to regulate virtually all online casino games, which would seem a harder pill to swallow for anti-gambling legislators as opposed to poker-only legislation.

A federal framework for online poker has long been regarded as the preferable form of regulation for U.S. players. Currently, individual states have the choice of enacting legislation on their own in the absence of movement on the federal level.

While progress regarding federal online poker legislation has repeatedly stalled, a Senate subcommittee hearing this week will at least get lawmakers talking about the issue. On Wednesday, July 17, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance will discuss online poker at a hearing entitled “The Expansion of Internet Gambling: Assessing Consumer Protection Concerns.”

A full agenda and list of witnesses scheduled to testify at the hearing hasn’t been announced as of this writing. But the first Senate committee online gambling meeting of 2013 will be available via a live online stream at the government website.


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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.