Federal Internet gaming bill introduced

18 March 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attempts to regulate Internet gaming on a federal level continued Thursday with the introduction of a bipartisan bill that would establish federal licensing and regulation of online wagering, specifically poker.

The bill, co-authored by Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and House Financial Services Ranking Member Barney Frank, D-Mass., reflects a measure that passed through committee in July.

"Given that millions of Americans currently play online poker, states across the country are recognizing the value in licensing and regulating the game and many are introducing their own laws ... while collecting millions in tax revenue," said Poker Player Alliance Chairman and former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y.

Messages left late Thursday with Reps. Campbell and Frank were not returned. The federal bill was introduced about a week after Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, introduced a bill back by PokerStars that could lead to Nevada legalizing Internet poker.

Key provisions of the federal bill introduced Thursday include thorough vetting of potential licensees and creation of a list of illegal operators and mandatory implementation of technologies to protect against underage gambling using the commercial and government databases used for online banking to verify age and identity.

The measure would also establish requirements for operators to set daily, weekly or monthly limits on deposits and losses to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits.

High standards to thwart fraud, abuse and cheating to ensure fair games for customers; regulation to prevent money laundering; and, processes to prevent tax avoidance.

Instead of a patchwork of state laws protecting only players in those states, D'Amato urged Congress "to step up and pass federal legislation."

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