Internet Poker Bill Sees Committee Hearing

Annie Duke
Annie Duke

Rep. Barney Frank’s proposed internet gambling regulation bill was put before a hearing yesterday with poker player Annie Duke standing in as a witness.

The bill, which is officially titled H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, would see online poker officially licensed and regulated by the U.S. government.

"This Committee and this Congress should not tolerate laws that seek to prevent responsible adults from playing a game we find stimulating, challenging and entertaining," said Duke, who was speaking on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance.

"H.R. 2267 provides this freedom in a safe and regulated environment and I urge everyone on this Committee to support this common sense policy."

The House Financial Services Committee held the hearing, which also heard testimony from Tom Malkasian of Commerce Casino, Ed Williams on behalf of the Credit Union National Association and Michael Fagan, a law enforcement specialist.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, for one, was not sold on the legislation.

 "It makes no sense to me why we would be taking steps to open casinos in every home, dorm room, library, iPod, Blackberry, iPad and computer in America," said Bachus during the hearing.

After approximately two hours of discussion the hearing was adjourned.

The next step for the proposed legislation is a markup and vote, which could happen as early as next week. Amendments could potentially be added to the bill during the markup.

One proposed amendment is the addition of a loss limit clause which would restrict the amount that could be wagered on online poker sites.

If the bill was to get enough votes in committee it would then go to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

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