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Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton has announced that he has introduced his latest attempt to legalize online poker within the United States with the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013.
The bill is formally known as HR2666 and is more than 100 pages long and has the goal of legalizing online poker in states that wish to do so.
Some of the features of the bill include:
A bad actor clause, which would keep companies from taking part in the first five years of online poker action if they “...have been convicted of accepting bets or wagers from any other person through an Internet poker facility in felony violation of federal or state law.”
Would create the Office of Internet Poker Oversight, which would be under the rule of the US Department of Commerce.
Would outlaw internet casino gambling by strengthening the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
The bill was immediately supported by the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, whose Spokesman Michael Waxman said, "Given federal regulation provides the only way to create uniform standards to control Internet gambling activity and protect every American, Congress should be encouraged to seize, not cede regulation of the industry. Moreover, the Internet, online commerce, and online gambling are by nature interstate activities, demanding the attention of federal, not state, regulators."
The full bill can be read online at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/153205779/HR-2666-The-Poker-Freedom-Act
Barton's bill is the second online gambling bill to be introduced to Congress this summer. Last month New York Representative Peter King introduced a bill which would legalize all online gambling (sans sportsbetting) throughout the United States.