Tomorow Republican Joe Barton from the state of Texas will be at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, at the Rio, announcing, “Shuffle up and deal!” For many in the poker community, hopefully he is also announcing something else. Tomorrow, hopefully Congressman Barton will make some sort of announcement regarding a bill to legalize online poker in the United States.
After recent meetings with the Poker Player’s Alliance in Washington D.C., Congressman Barton has communicated that there is a bill in the works in Congress to legalize online poker. Optimists are hoping that the will be announced tomorrow at the World Series of Poker, or at least given a name.
The significance of Barton’s proposed bill is that it would be the first bill of its kind to address online poker, and online poker only. Previous online poker bills also included “online gambling”, which left the bills as little more than a pipedream, a longshot at best. If Barton is to go public with an online-poker-only bill it’s thought to have legs. Senator Harry Reid has specified that an online poker only bill would have the best chance of pushing through.
Co-sponsors of the proposed bill include Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).
The Poker Player’s Alliance is urging players to get active and support their local representative. Meanwhile, online player’s are hoping to also get word soon from Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker, and Full Tilt, the three major online poker rooms which are still holding player’s funds over two months later. As of now the United States government has yet to get actively involved in the returning of player funds.
Barton’s last announcement at a PPA rally was that the bill is being worked on. Many poker aficionados are hoping that tomorrow is the day Barton’s bill goes from an idea in the works, to a bill they can rally behind.