Senator responds to new gambling legislation

Not everyone is happy to see new legislation being introduced that could mean an end to last year's Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Senator Jon Kyl released a response Monday to the legislation title "Repeal UIGEA: Don't Bet on It."

Kyl has been one of the most vocal opponents of online gambling in the U.S. Senate and was a major player in getting the UIGEA attached to the SAFE Port Act last year to get it approved.

Sticking with his usual line that the UIGEA didn't make online gambling illegal, it just made it easier to enforce the laws that do, Kyl's statement shows Rep. Barney Frank's new bill won't get passed without a fight.

"There is an attempt underway by Congressman Barney Frank to remove the online gambling enforcement mechanisms provided by the UIGEA," Kyl says in his statement.

"I oppose efforts to remove the tools that our state and federal authorities have long sought to help enforce existing laws prohibiting any form of online gambling."

Kyl also opposes efforts that are being made to get an exemption from the laws for poker.

"Exempting online poker would undermine state gambling laws, making it much more difficult, if not impossible, for states to enforce their laws against gambling on online poker and would override any policy decisions made by state legislatures," Kyl says.

He also expresses concerns that online gambling could "exacerbate the two most pernicious aspects of Internet gambling: addictiveness and easy access for youth."

However, Kyl also points out that playing poker in home games or online for free at .net sites is not illegal, and players can continue to enjoy the game that way.

If poker enthusiasts want an exemption for the game, Kyl believes they should seek it by proving to a court that it is a game of skill.

"While poker, like other card games, involves an element of skill, the hands that win or lose are a result of chance - 'the luck of the draw,'" Kyl said. "If enthusiasts could prove otherwise to the satisfaction of a court, then they would not be subject to online gambling restrictions."

To view Kyl's statement in its entirety, visit

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