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PokerXanadu, the 2 + 2 member who has written his own federal online poker legislation, recently revealed his reasoning behind crafting his own proposal. As a player himself, he has watched helplessly as 11 online poker and gambling bills have been proposed in recent years. While those bills have landed in the muck, with Rep. King and Rep. Barton’s recent offerings likely to follow suit, exasperation at watching the futility of lawmakers at the federal level hit an all-time high for the real estate investor.

Seeing that it was high time that a player with the required intelligence in legalese volley a proposal of his own, PokerXanadu a/k/a Martin Shapiro did just that. Realizing that none of the previous bills “would have been truly good for poker players as written,” the player who makes a hobby out of studying the particulars of each bill took it upon himself to write his own. It is exactly that type of effort that poker players should rally around.

That rallying is currently underway. PokerXanadu’s 80-page project is now complete and ready to be perused by federal legislators. Requesting support from fellow players via 2 + 2, Shapiro has asked players throughout the U.S. to mail his proposal to their local representatives. A number of players have responded favorably and it looks as though the “Internet Wagering Citizens Protection Act” will soon be in the hands of lawmakers.

It is unclear how federal legislators will respond to such a proposal. One can only hope that PokerXanadu’s measure will be used as a basis to advance federal online poker legislation. That is Shapiro’s stated goal. To get politicians to take a look at his effort and realize that it encompasses elements of online poker regulations that other previous bills have lacked.

At Shapiro’s website,, he calls his proposal the “ultimate compromise bill” that will benefit everybody. Restricted to poker-only, PokerXanadu touts the following advantages of his measure: Casinos will not lose their current revenue from brick and mortar casino games; state lotteries will have control over Internet lottery sales and can also participate in online poker; tribes retain their sovereignty and can run online poker sites; racetracks would also be included and allowed to expand to Internet poker; consumer protections would be enhanced that protect minors, benefit compulsive gamblers, and afford new law enforcement regulations to combat money laundering; appeases those opposed to massive Internet gambling expansion; and allows U.S. players to once again play the game that they love online that would be fully regulated and protected.

There are rumblings that certain federal lawmakers would like to get something done before online gambling legislation increases on a state-by-state basis. If that’s the case, then Shapiro’s efforts may be coming at precisely the right time. It may turn out that the powers that be in Congress will look at the proposal seriously.

Whether or not that does happen, Shapiro seems like the type of individual that would make a fine representative of player rights. The kind who volunteers his free time in order to bring about change that would benefit not only poker players themselves, but the industry as well. A voice of the people, if you will, that would lobby and campaign for online poker to be enjoyed by one and all throughout the U.S.

Players who would like to get involved and learn more about Shapiro’s bill can check out I’m sure I’m not alone in suggesting that Shapiro be nominated to speak for poker players everywhere and that the Poker Lovers Union become the unified front that players support in order to advance online poker legislation in the U.S. Anybody second the nomination?


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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.