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Online Poker Bill Passes Subcommittee In The United States

Law, 2010-07-29, by TwoGun

The first steps towards unwinding the UIGEA were taken in the United States with the passage of H.R. 2267 in subommittee.

H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, will allow the Department of Treasury to license online gambling websites. The bill passed subcommittee with a 41-22 vote, indicating solid strength for the bill. By party breakdown, Democrats supported the bill 34-4, while Republicans opposed the bill 7-18.

There were several notable amendments to the bill:

1. Sites that have intentionally broken American online gaming laws will not be granted a license. This basically means Full Tilt/PokerStars will not get a license if this bill becomes law, but Party Poker likely will.

2. Sports betting (with the exception of horse racing) will not be allowed.

3. States will be given one full legislative session to opt out. This will allow anti-gambling states to still ban online poker. While people who reside in the states will grimace at this amendment, this sort of amendment is likely needed for the bill to have any chance at actually becoming law.

The next step will be for the bill to be passed by the full House of Representatives, and then for the bill to be passed by the Senate. Given how late it is in the Congressional session, this is unlikely to be done, but the momentum is good for online poker in the United States. Who knows, maybe a Senator will tack on this legislation to a port securities act and we'll have full scale online poker by the end of the year in the US.

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