Kendall James

Rep. Joe Barton and Rep. Peter King have both proposed bills to legalize online poker. Many critics believe that King’s bill will not pass in the House of Representatives, but Barton is confident that his bill will be signed later this year.

Nevada is the only state in the country that has passed a bill to regulate online poker. He is adamant that legalizing online poker needs to be a top priority. The Texas Republican said that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and similar laws have not discouraged Americans from gambling over the Internet. Barton said that he enjoys playing online poker for play money. He doesn’t intend to play for real money, but feels that option should be available for players who enjoy the thrill of playing for cash.

The other 49 states do not have any safeguards to protect their citizens from fraud or developing gambling addictions. Barton is one of many lawmakers who feel that regulating the industry makes much more sense than prohibition.

Barton plans to introduce his bill in the near future. He tried introducing a similar bill last fall. This bill gained a lot of support from members of Congress, but stalled due to the election. He believes that his bill has a much more realistic chance of passing now that the elections are over.

Individual states will have the option to opt out of the legislation. Barton hopes this will help more lawmakers support the bill and avoid having a state challenge the constitutionality of the bill under the 10th Amendment.

Although Barton is confident that his bill will be passed, he acknowledged that it will take time. He said supporters for online poker will need to be patient while waiting for legislation to be passed and enacted.


Kendall James
Kendall James - Kendall has been covering the gaming industry for over 7 years. Kendall lives in San Francisco with his wife and black Labrador. Kendall often travels to Sacramento and Nevada to covers legislative hearings and iGaming conferences.