Online poker players all over the United States are celebrating, as Barney Frank’s HR 2267 legislation, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act passed the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. If the act becomes a law, Internet gambling operators will be licensed and authorized, legalizing online betting in the United States.
The Act was passed by a margin of 41-22 in the House Financial Services Committee. In order to become a law, the act still must pass through the full House as well as the Senate. In addition to authorizing gambling operators to accept bets and wagers online from US players, the act also contains provisions preventing minors from gambling on the web, prohibits ads targeted towards gambling addicts, prevents the use of credit deposits, and other gambling safety provisions.
Alfonso D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, responded to the passing of the act saying, “The fact is, online poker is not going away. Congress has a choice-it can license and regulate it to provide government oversight and consumer protections, or our lawmakers can stick their heads in the sand, ignore it, and leave consumers to play on non-US regulated websites in all 50 states. I’m glad the Financial Services Committee today overwhelmingly chose to act and protect Americans as well as preserve the fundamental freedoms of adults and the Internet.”
This is the first step towards a better future for online poker, but isn’t the end. We still have to wait and see if the act is passed through the full house and Senate. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!