House committee to talk net gambling Wednesday

capital hill

Online poker will once again be the focus of attention in the halls of power in Washington, D.C. come this Wednesday.

At 10 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will be convening a special hearing on establishing consistent enforcement policies in the context of online wagers. The hearing will likely feature a distinct focus on online poker.

In attendance at the meeting will be representatives of both major political parties as well as representatives of the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury and the World Trade Organization.

A statement on the Poker Player Alliance's Web site also indicated that poker professional Annie Duke will be at the meeting as a witness for the poker side of the equation.

This comes shortly after the Poker Player Alliance gathering in Washington about three weeks ago, which brought together poker players and congressional representatives to discuss the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), its enacting into law last October and ways to either overturn the act or amend it to provide poker a carve-out.

PPA Executive Director John Pappas says that the meeting this Wednesday is a direct result of the October visit.

"Representative John Conyers (D-MI), who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was quite impressed with the arguments we brought up during the Fly-In and said he would be bringing it to review in his committee," Pappas said.

"This is an opportunity to discuss many aspects of the gaming laws, especially the continuing WTO case, age verification, the proposed regulations currently in the Congress and problem gambling."

PPA Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D'Amato said Conyers' hearing is an important step toward educating Congress about the folly of the Internet gaming prohibition.

"It won't work, and it is tremendously bad public policy," D'Amato said. "Only through proper regulation can we provide the proper safeguards for consumers and generate billions in additional, and much needed, tax revenue for this country."

The meeting will be held just off Capitol Hill at 2141 Rayburn House Office Building, and it is open to the general public. Pappas encourages poker players from the D.C. area to mobilize and, if possible, appear at the meeting to show their support for the game.

For more details on the House Judiciary Committee's meeting this Wednesday, visit

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