Kendall James

Federal Representative Joe Barton is a strong supporter of online poker. Barton tried passing a bill in July that would have legalized online poker at the federal level. The Internet Poker Freedom Act would have created a program that would allow state and federally recognized tribes to offer online poker.

Congress didn’t pass the bill this past summer, but Barton remains committed to legalizing online poker. He began drafting his legislation shortly after New Jersey became the third state to legalize online gambling. Barton feels that all Americans should be allowed to gamble if it is legal in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.

Many lawmakers feel that it is important for the federal government to create uniform standards that all states need to abide by. The three states that have legalized online gambling all have a different regulatory structure. This can create risks for citizens if some states don’t require gaming providers to the safeguards needed to stop fraud, underage gambling and gambling addictions.

Barton renewed his efforts to regulate online poker the day after online gambling was launched in New Jersey. Barton said that he wants to make sure that all Americans have the opportunity to play online poker in “an honest and fair structure.” Most studies estimate that between 10 and 15 million Americans play online poker. These citizens are forced to use sites based overseas with no safeguards.

Members of the Poker Players Alliance and other online poker advocates support Barton’s legislation and hope that it is passed next year. However, some critics believe that legislation should be implemented on a state-by-state basis.

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.