American Gaming Association Won’t Back Joe Barton’s Online Poker Bill

online poker USAThe American Gaming Association (AGA)’s president and chief executive officer has stated that the organisation will not give their support to Republican House of Representative Joe Barton’s bill that is aimed at creating laws and a licensing system that would assist poker players in being able to play online poker.

Instead of supporting Texas representative Barton’s Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011, Frank Fahrenkopf will persist with the AGA’s plan to introduce their own federal online bill in the autumn.

Fahrenkopf recently spoke of the AGA’s plans to draw up an online poker bill following the events of ‘Black Friday’, when the US Department of Justice (DoJ) shut down three online poker sites – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker on April 15 – in relation to the indictments of several company bosses because of alleged money laundering and bank fraud.

The AGA suggest that their bill will “generate some revenue for the states involved, the states where the bettors are, and revenue to the federal government because there will now be tracking on winnings”.

Additionally, Fahrenkopf pointed out that those “winning at online poker will have to pay income tax” as the federal government would employ precise procedures to collect tax from participants.

That is in stark contrast to Barton’s bill, which suggests that user fees and fines be employed to gather cash for the federal government.

Also, the AGA’s Fahrenkopf stated that their bill will demand that state officials confirm that Internet poker is legal in their particular states – unlike Barton’s proposed bill, which would automatically allow online poker in all states.

In essence, Fahrenkopf wants federal legislation employed to bring an end to the lack of clarity surrounding the issue, adding that he believes “you have to make sure each state has the right to say yay or nay”.

While not giving their support to 61-year-old Barton’s bill that was presented late last month, the AGA did back the need for the regulation and licensing of online United States poker.

An AGA statement at the time pointed out that, while it has not endorsed any specific legislation on this issue, we are pleased that Rep. Barton wants to protect American consumers and understands the need for regulating online poker in our country.

Basically, it appears that Fahrenkopf and Barton only really differ on how best to give states as much freedom of choice as possible when it comes to what is a multi-billion dollar gambling industry – so there really is hope of a positive resolution in the near future. Keep your fingers crossed, though, folks.