US Congressman Introduces Federal Online Gambling Bill

Gambling reformists in the US will get another shot at legalized online casinos.  New York Congressman Peter King tabled a new online gambling bill entitled the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013, which will authorize legalized online gambling under federal jurisdiction.

The US tried and failed to pass online poker laws following a federal ban upon all online gambling in 2006.  However, state governments in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey legalized various methods of online gambling within their borders, and other states are considering following suit.  Pro-gambling reformists argue that players can already access online gambling sites with servers based in nations outside of US jurisdiction.  The websites circumvent the federal ban because players are willing to ignore the laws in exchange for convenient gambling.

King says his motion is necessary to help protect players from unregulated gambling sites, and help US gambling firms remain competitive in today’s gambling market.

A common federal standard will ensure strong protections for consumers, protect against problem and underage gambling, and make it easier for businesses, players, lawmakers and regulators to navigate and freely participate.”

If the bill is passed into law, the Treasury Department will create a new office devoted to managing the online gambling industry.  The office will recognize trusted online casinos that ensure player safety and security, while ‘blacklisting’ gambling domains that are less credible.  Players will also have access to internet gambling guides that only promote online casinos which are regulated by trusted gambling authorities.

King’s bill is supported by the American Gaming Association, which is one of the largest pro-gambling support groups in the US.  The AGA previously backed legislation that would federally legalize online poker, but CEO Frank Fahrenkopf says the organization will likely support the expanded gambling legislation.

We spent the last four years working very, very hard to get in a position to support such legislation if it was introduced.”

Lawmakers will debate the bill in Congress over the next few weeks before putting the bill to a motion.

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