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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

New Internet Skill Game Licensing Act Introduced to Congress

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On the heels of recent poker bipartisan legislative success with the House Financial Services Committee passage of Rep. Barney Frank’s H.R. 6870, the Payment System Protection Act of 2008, another member of Congress has taken action to stand up for the rights of poker players. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act of 2008.

The forward-thinking legislation, also known in the Senate as S. 3616, establishes the need to license and regulate internet poker in the United States. The hopeful passage of the bill will allow poker to be legally protected as a game of skill and free from prohibition attempts on the game like the UIGEA. The Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act will likely come up for a vote in the next session of Congress.

PPA Chairman and Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato stated, “This action by Senator Menendez is yet another example that prohibitions on internet gambling, and specifically poker, will not work to protect consumers. The PPA has long advocated for thoughtful and effective licensing and regulation of online poker as a means to protect vulnerable communities, such as children and compulsive gamblers, and provide appropriate controls to thwart consumer fraud and abuse. Senator Menendez’ legislation is the right vehicle to achieve those goals. On behalf of the members of the PPA and online poker players nationwide, I would like to thank Senator Menendez on his leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with him and his Senate colleagues to enact this sound policy.”

The context of S. 3616 includes provisions to ensure that online gaming sites seeking licenses are properly vetted and technologies to protect against underage gambling and those with excessive gaming habits. The bill will also enforce high standards to protect against money laundering and tax avoidance, and protect consumers against fraud and abuse.

More information about the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act of 2008 can be found at the website of the Poker Players Alliance, an organization that represents more than one million poker players, fans, and enthusiasts. The website enables visitors membership opportunities and easy access to communicate with members of Congress about issues of importance to the poker community.

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