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U.S. internet gambling legal and regulatory update

Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s new mission is to regulate online poker in the United States, via a bill introduced two weeks ago into the U.S. House of Representatives: The Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011.

But already, Barton’s bill is facing challenges.

AGA to create its own bill
One of the key groups in the drive to change the online gambling legal situation in the U.S. is the American Gaming Association (AGA). That group, formerly resistant to online gambling, has in recent years gotten on board with the need to create new igaming laws.

The group’s president and CEO, Frank Fahrenkopf, a well-known former U.S. politician who’s headed the AGA for years, has taken an aggressive media stance in support of new laws. He’s recently spoken at the iGaming Super Show in Dublin on the topic, along with quite a few other media outlets.

And, in what may be bad news for the online gambling world, Fahrenkopf says he’s not supporting Barton’s new bill — although it’s not likely the AGA will fight it, either.

The AGA said that although it “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.”

Furthermore, the AGA is sponsoring a different online gambling bill, to be introduced later this year.

Per, that bill aims to “generate some revenue for the states involved, the states where the bettors are, and revenue to the federal government because there will now be tracking on winnings. People who are winning at online poker will have to pay income tax.”

According to EGR, the new bill “would favour Nevada and New Jersey as licensing and regulatory authorities in a future US egaming market,” and will likely appear in the Autumn.

More support for regulations
A senior U.S. Senator has voiced support for regulating online gambling, though hasn’t explicitly supported Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s new mission to regulate online poker in the United States, via a bill introduced two weeks ago into the U.S. House of Representatives.

West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller believes that establishing “online gambling regulations that will protect consumers, state’s rights and state sovereignty, and eliminate a huge illegal market that today benefits only companies and countries oversees,” reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“The veteran senator estimates legalizing Internet gambling would save an estimated $41.8 billion over the next decade and provide an estimated $30 billion for states.”