Appearing Thursday on CNBC, US. House Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) made his case for the legalization of online poker in the United States.
Stating that he favors the legalization of strictly online poker, Rep. Barton added that he feels his bill would generate tax revenues of around $3 billion annually. Barton also contended that poker is a game of skill, stating "If you and I play poker over time, whichever one of us is the best player, is whoever is going to win the other person's money.”
Answering questions from two interviewers Rep. Barton explained that under his bill, an operator would have to be licensed not only by the U.S. Department of Congress, but also be licensed in the state in which the company operates. “So they have to get two separate licenses and the bill has, I think, very strict safeguards protecting against underage poker players and problem poker players. These are very sophisticated programs to track somebody who might have a problem and then do something about it,” explained the Texas Representative.
A point of contention brought up by one of the interviewers was the ability for players to lose money very quickly with operators who may use predatory tactics to lure unassuming players into thinking they could win big. With this point brought up, Rep. Barton explained that according to research, the average account for a poker player from the United States was only around $80. “Eighty - not 800 or 8,000, so this isn't a high roller issue,” said Rep. Barton.
Representative Joe Barton has represented the 6th District of Texas in the United States House of Representatives since 1985. Rep. Barton currently sits as the Chairman Emeritus of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the Tea Party Caucus.
Video of the segment can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTDlrbZtRgQ