New Online Gambling Bill Brought Before United States Congress

By: Kyle Young
Monday, June 10th, 2013

Not so long ago, Barney Frank’s attempt to legalize online poker on a Federal level failed. Since then, individual states have been working on adopting legalized online poker and other online gambling within their own states. Although it was expected that a new federal online gambling bill may be introduced at some stage, however, there is far less excitement surrounding the current online gambling bill.

Although the previous bill from Barney Frank seemed to have much support, it failed to pass through the legislative process. The new online gambling bill is known as the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013. The news bill was introduced by Rep. Peter King (R - NY).

In support of the new bill, Rep. King said to the Associated Press that a common federal standard would promise better protection for consumers, guard against problem and underage gambling, and “make it easier for businesses, players, lawmakers and regulators to navigate and freely participate.”

While the bill has presented as a new bill with a new name, it is similar to Barney Frank’s bill from 2007. In fact, it seems more like an amended version of that bill rather than an entirely new bill.

The online gambling world shared the excitement of the bill proposed by Barney Frank, however, it did not bring about the changes that had been hoped for. There has been more progress on a state-by-state level, with states such as New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, creating their own online gambling legislation, and passing their own online gambling bills. This has reduced the urgent need that was felt for Federal gambling legislation. However, should a Federal online poker and online gambling bill be passed, it would be beneficial to both the industry in general, and on a more personal level, to the players.

In the online poker world, there are those that are concerned that this new legal online gambling bill will cause more, rather than less opposition to the legalization of online poker and other forms of online gambling.

Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid is concerned that because the bill encompasses most forms of online gambling, including online poker, and excluding sports betting, that the bill will not receive the same kind of support that it would if it was only covering online poker legislation. It may well be that state online gambling laws will be more important than Federal online gambling legislation.