Congress Listens to Pro-Online Poker Advocates

By Maria McCoyGoogle


A recently held congressional hearing of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade subcommittee heard voices calling for the legalization of online gambling.  Though the stance of many lawmakers has been consistently against the legalization of online gambling, often referred to as a vice, experts involved in the debates claim that gambling affiliates and Washington policy-makers are reaching an agreement.  Mary Bono Mack, a Californian Representative, noted that only two out of America’s fifty states have yet to allow for some form of legalized gambling.

There are many factors that have caused lawmakers to have a change of heart.  Some lawmakers noted the fact that despite online gambling’s illegal status, millions of Americans have been doing it online for years.  What’s worse is that since the gambling is clandestine, the players are unprotected, and all the revenue leaves America’s borders and goes overseas.

Frank Fakrenkopf, the CEO of the American Gaming Association, called online poker “a safe bet.”  He explained that legalized and regulated online poker creates a safer playing environment, creates American jobs, and creates tax revenue at the state and federal levels.  An estimate given at the hearing said that a U.S. online gambling industry could bring in about two billion dollars annually in tax income.

Former Senator and current chairman of the Pokers Players Alliance Al D’Amato addressed the subcommittee and said that Americans are ready for legalized online gambling.  He also stressed the need for a general clarification of the legislation, stating that the current laws are too vague. Even though the committee could take quite some time to further deliberate on the issue, some members have hinted that legalization could be right around the corner. 

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