Contrary to a statement made by its Chief Executive, the American Gaming Association today announced that it does not intend to introduce a poker legislation bill later this year in the US Government.
The statement, which came from AGA Communications Chief Holly Wetzel contradicts the words that came from a speech given by Frank Fahrenkopf, the Chief Executive at the AGA, where he stated that the group was to introduce its own bill to the United States Congress. This came directly after US House Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced a bill that would legalize and regulate online poker, and caused a commotion as he did not publicly endorse Rep. Barton's bill.
Ms. Wetzel believes Mr. Fahrenkopf's statement was misinterpreted and in an attempt to set the record straight, said, ""First the AGA is not actively opposing the Barton bill."
"We have been neutral on all introduced legislation related to online poker, and the same is true of the Barton bill. We believe it’s a step in the right direction. More importantly, the AGA does not have its own bill and does not have plans to introduce its own bill. If a bill is introduced that meets our board’s approval, certainly we will consider supporting it. But we are not drafting our own bill."
The official position of the AGA regarding the Barton bill can be found in a statement that was released by the organization last month, saying "The American Gaming Association supports the licensing and regulation of online poker in the U.S."
"Although the AGA 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.
"The millions of Americans who are playing poker online deserve to know they are playing safely with law-abiding operators, but strong enforcement of illegal operators and unambiguous U.S. laws governing online gambling are equally vital. We look forward to continuing to work toward a solution that will meet these two goals and keep the jobs and revenues associated with this billion-dollar industry in the United States."