Posts Tagged ‘Joe Barton’

The Players’ Voice in Washington DC

Rep. Joe Barton on poker as a game of skill, and moving legislation on the Hill

by , Aug 3, 2013 | 7:43 pm

During the past month, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) has been on the move in his quest to bring about federal legislation favorable to online poker with an equally favorable revenue component for government.

At the end of June, the Congressman hit the road for his 3rd annual visit to the World Series of Poker—this time, to preview his latest federal legislative bill before introducing it into the U.S. House of Representatives. The official introduction of his newly minted bill H.R. 2666, the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013, followed on July 12.

Days later, Barton held a telephone press conference to discuss the new bill which “establishes a program for the licensing of Internet poker by States and federally recognized Indian tribes, and for other purposes.”  The teleconference was attended by media outlets across the country, including this reporter. However, it wasn’t until last week, when I met with the Congressman in his congressional office in Washington, D.C., that I got the complete picture of where he stands on poker and poker legislation. At the end of this day, Barton remains as unclear as anyone on the likely time table for passage of federal legislation to legalize online poker, by the Congress, but he exudes confidence that day will come.

Barton Invokes the President’s Name 
Barton is methodical. He is an engineer by training. He is a seasoned politician. He has held his Congressional seat since 1984. He rates himself as a good amateur poker player. By all accounts from mutual friends, this is an understatement. With a slight twinkle in his eye and a  poker player’s understanding of a well-placed semi-bluff, Barton goes further than mere prediction in stating that he expects President Obama to sign his legislative bill to legalize online poker, if it reaches his desk.

Barton talks the talk at poker tables and he walks the walk around the House in gambits to prod progress on the right online poker bill. He seeks a sensible federal law that will allow online poker in states that are so inclined, under the best conditions for all concerned.

He is also a pragmatist who recognizes the road will not be easy. His latest online “poker only” bill, like the others in which he has been intimately involved, previously, is designed to exempt poker from the category of “games of chance” which are subject to anti-gambling statutes. During our hour-long visit in Washington and a subsequent telephone call, Barton resonated as “the genuine article.”

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US Senate to Take up Online Gambling Consumer Protection Concerns

+ new poker-only Barton bill in the House

by , Jul 12, 2013 | 8:25 pm

Lest we think the Feds were just gonna drop their interest in online gaming and let states run amok with Kentucky-like money grabs, a new federal process is apparently underway … with a subcommittee hearing to put matters of consumer protection on the legislative agenda:

The Expansion of Internet Gambling: Assessing Consumer Protection Concerns
Jul 17 2013 10:00 AM ET
Russell Senate Office Building – 253

You’ll be able to watch a livestream of the hearing, which hopefully will finally remove “click a mouse, lose your house” from the conversation and instead address real issues of money laundering, privacy concerns, redress of grievances, bot use, and identity protection — not to mention what kinda data you can keep about other players, and what kinda hand histories the government can keep on you!

Gambling regulation may historically be a matter left to the states, but regulation of the internet is kinda new, and something Uncle Sam has wanted a role in for establishing minimum standards at least since the White House unveiled its strategy for consumer protection on the internet[Bump-bump-buhhh] … on April 15, 2011.

Meanwhile, we also have a new Barton Bill — HR 2666, which has a surprisingly ungodly bill number and stated goals of protecting poker players from consumer fraud by establishing a federal program for the licensing of Onternet poker by States and federally recognized Indian tribes. This bill may or may not also have the benefit of helping “poker only” ride along with other online gambling bills yet separate itself if necessary to distinguish its unique sector of the online “gambling” landscape.

Current draft of the new Barton Bill here — http://theppa.org/ppa/2013/07/11/pokerfreedomact/ — and media conference call about it next Tuesday:

logo-ppaMedia Teleconference: Congressman Joe Barton and PPA’s John Pappas to Discuss New U.S. Internet Poker Legislation HR 2666

WHAT: On Tuesday, July 16, John Pappas, PPA’s executive director will be joined by Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) on a media teleconference to discuss Mr. Barton’s newly introduced bill, The Poker Freedom Act, to license and regulate Internet poker.

The bill mandates technologies to protect consumers from fraud and limits underage access, preserves state’s rights, and ensures Indian Tribes have the same rights to apply for a license as other entities.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

The poker community may or may not have lost its verve for writing checks to politicians only to sweat subcommittee hearings that in the end prove about as significant as WSOP Day 1s. But this combo of activity is indeed the start of something — a new baseline at least, as poker interests presumably have until the end of the year to make something happen before all special interests get told the same thing about what’s impossible during an election year.


Cleaning up or Cleaning out?

@OPReport's Online Poker Bulletin

by , Jul 2, 2013 | 6:30 am

Weekly bulletin from OnlinePokerReport.com for the week of July 1st …

logo-OPReport

STORIES WORTH WATCHING

#1. Bet Raise Fold – Sunday was the worldwide release of the much-anticipated online poker documentary that has – so far – garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from advance viewers. Buy your copy here. If you supported the KickStarter campaign, you should have already received your link to view the movie via email.

#2. Kentucky – After successfully extracting a cool $15mm from bwin.party, Kentucky looks set to continue their litigious ways against other operators that took online bets from the state (and have some resources to target). I’ve been told to expect a significant legal filing related to Kentucky’s actions this week.

#3. PokerStars vs ACC – The ACC filed their response last week to Stars’ application for interlocutory appeal. While we don’t have a firm deadline for a ruling, I can’t imagine the courts are interested in letting this battle drag on much longer, especially given that it clouds the ability of the ACC to pursue an alternative sale. The holiday may result in a delay, but a decision could still be forthcoming in the next few days.

… + THE WEEK THAT WAS

—————–

OPR OUTPUT

On this week’s Rabbit Hunt, Mark and I cover the One Drop action at the WSOP, debate the best way of responding to Adelson and try our best to read the tea leaves of PokerStars’s battle with the ACC.

QuadJacks ran an article of mine imploring people to Stop Writing Responses to Sheldon Adelson. Finally, I offered up some thoughts on the Online Poker Compact Conundrum in the regulated U.S. market.

 

PICKS

#GoodRead – Brad Polizzano penned an informative and concise rundown of the 2013 NCLGS at QuadJacks.

—————–

Get in touch

Chris Grove / chris@onlinepokerreport.com / @OPReport / Google + / Skype: chrisgrove404


From Poker-Only to Poker-Plus

King bill expands internet poker legislation to include casino games

by , Jun 13, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Give me online slot machines or give me death!

Give me online slots or give me death!

A New York congressman introduced legislation last week to legalize all forms of Internet wagering by establishing a federal licensing and regulatory system.

Internet gaming supporters quickly applauded the measure, authored by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., which goes beyond previous attempts to legalize just online poker.

Others expressed caution and wanted to take a closer look at the 134-page bill.

“Our team and the board will need some time to fully review this legislation before taking an official position,” American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said in a statement.

Last year an online poker bill backed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and now-retired U.S. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., was leaked in Washington, D.C., but never introduced.

Partisan politics and opposition from Indian gaming tribes and state lotteries sank the legislation. Several online gaming and online poker-only bills have surfaced in Congress over the past few sessions.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told Internet gaming proponents he will introduce online poker legislation later this year. Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said the Democratic leader and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., “continue to work together in this issue.”

Former Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., now a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., said the King bill most likely will take on a different form as it comes up for debate and additional online gaming bills surface.

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Run It Twice?

Fahrenkopf suggests Barton bill redux in IGNA address

by , Mar 1, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Frank Fahrenkopf AGA online gambling poker, who will step down in June after 18 years as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said Wednesday he believes a comprehensive federal bill legalizing online poker will be brought back to Capitol Hill this year.

Fahrenkopf expects Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, to reintroduce an Internet poker-only bill in the House. Barton has tried before but failed to garner enough support in the House to pass an online poker bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., were working on a bill last year, but it never materialized, much to the disappointment of Fahrenkopf and other gaming industry leaders.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a new bill was introduced in this session,” Fahrenkopf told gaming regulators and executives during a question-and-answer session at the 2013 iGaming North America Conference at Planet Hollywood Resorts.

He said the association was “still hopeful something will get done,” but with Kyl’s retirement they are working to “find a conservative Republican from a nongaming state” to support a federal bill legalizing online poker.

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Nevada Republicans Respond to GOP Plank to Stop Online Gambling: Pshaw!

by , Sep 1, 2012 | 10:00 am

A plank in the Republican platform, approved earlier this week at the party’s national convention in Tampa, Fla., calls for a “prohibition” on Internet gaming and reversing December’s re-evaluation of the Federal Wire Act.

The language – listed under the heading “Making the Internet Family-Friendly” – goes against the position taken by most of the gaming industry and of the state’s Republican elected leaders.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who addressed the Republican Convention on Tuesday, said he doesn’t support the platform language.

“We’re not going to agree on everything,” Sandoval said. “Nevada has always set the gold standard in gaming, and online gaming is the next frontier for the industry. Our state supports online poker and will continue to work to ensure a secure online gaming environment.”

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Barton Pushing Online Poker Act on Fox Business

Informal Twitter poll: "Everybody says yes" to legalized online gambling

by , Aug 2, 2012 | 3:08 pm

Joe Barton (R-TX) was rallying conservatives today on Fox Business news, where they seem extremely receptive to legalized online gambling (even if he wants to specify that his bill is just for online poker, a game of skill). Barton also is pushing bi-partisan legislation that he says will protect children from bots and dataminers and that dastardly Google with their cookies.

The h/t for finding this goes to Rich Muny via Google+, which I think may be a first such link ever for Pokerati. Ahhh, technology and cookies!


States Opting in for Online Poker

PPA town hall tomorrow to address where that leaves the country

by , Jun 29, 2012 | 1:46 pm

Poker players will receive an update from their top lobbying organization on legislative efforts to license and regulate online poker in the United States during a special town hall-style meeting Saturday at the Rio.

When it comes to federal efforts, however, it might be a short conversation.

The Poker Players Alliance is using the World Series of Poker, which has attracted thousands of players to Las Vegas, to update the poker community on what’s taking place in various states.

John Pappas, the alliance’s executive director, said he expects to hear from players who have been sidelined from Internet play since the April 15, 2011, crackdown on Internet poker by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Pappas will be joined by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the sponsor of House Resolution 2366, which calls for legalization of Internet poker, and professional poker players Greg Raymer – the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion – and Linda Johnson, who have lobbied on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance in Washington, D.C.

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Joe Barton Headed to Vegas to Address Poker Supporters

Update: PPA @WSOP

by , Jun 20, 2012 | 11:25 am

Last week, I shared the news that you are cordially invited to the PPA Town Hall meeting in Las Vegas at the Rio during the World Series of Poker® on Saturday, June 30th, starting at 12:15 pm. I also mentioned that I would share details as they come available, and I have a great detail to share this week:

Key poker supporter and sponsor of H.R. 2366, the Online Poker Act, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) will address the group and is looking forward to meeting you!

This free town hall event will include a discussion of the issues facing the poker community in Nevada and across the nation. Executive Director John Pappas, Director of Grassroots and External Affairs Drew Lesofski, Nevada State Director Lupe Soto, and I will be on hand to answer your questions regarding your poker rights. Please be sure to make plans to attend this important meeting. If you are in the Las Vegas area that day, I hope you and your poker friends will attend!

RSVP: nvtownhall@theppa.org (RSVPs are not required, but please try to let us know if you are planning to attend.)

This is a great opportunity to meet your PPA representatives and to get the latest information on the poker legislative landscape. The first 25 people who show up will receive a free PPA t-shirt! Everyone in attendance will receive a free PPA patch. We will be providing light refreshments as well.

PPA at the WSOP

I thank everyone who took the time to stop by the PPA WSOP booth this past weekend to discuss the poker advocacy effort and what they can do to help further the cause!

We will be back for the weekends of 6/29-7/1 and 7/7-7/9 (the opening days of the Main Event). If you are in the area one of those weekends, I hope you will stop by to talk to us about the fight. We will have PPA patches available, so please pick one up to show everyone at the WSOP that you are proud to advocate for our rights as poker players and enthusiasts!

Make sure to check the PPA Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-the-minute info on everything we are be doing at the WSOP , to see great pictures, and to follow our real-time take on all that is going on at the WSOP


In Brief: Legal Biznass

Poker Law, Politics, Business, and Crime

by , Dec 8, 2011 | 6:26 pm

We spend so much time reading about poker legal developments here at Pokerati that we sometimes forget to share the relevant news before the cycle turns to something else … and then I complain that our readers here aren’t as smart anymore as they used to be? It doesn’t take a JD to see the flaw in my logic there. Thus, here’s a much-needed batch of recent highlights and hedlines to keep the incessant but important buzz in context … a semi-special link-dump, btw, brought to you by our new-good friends at LegalPokerSites.com:

First UIGEA Conviction in the Books The DOJ logged their first win on UIGEA charges — making the supposedly weak law thus far undefeated — against online sportsbook operator Todd Lyons. His arrest back in May 2010 shoulda been a big warning sign to American online poker operators (and players?) — and Full Tilt specifically — that the DOJ was coming to get them! [CalvinAyre.com]

First Black Friday Trial Date Set John Campos and Chad Elie, the Utah banker and PokerStars payment processor indicted for their role in online poker criminal activity, have a trial date in March … creating a tangible timeline for Black Friday cases and added pressure on the big fish the DOJ really wants — Isai Sheinberg, Ray Bitar, and Scott Tom. [Legal Poker Sites]

MGM Sues Poker Domain Squatters Just as Caesars sued (and won) to obtain the domain WSOP.com, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains mgmpoker.com, bellagiopoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybaypoker.com, and ariapoker.com. Apparently the casino giant thinks they’ll have need for them soon. [VegasInc]

Barton Says Online Poker Bill Still Alive This Congress Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gave a luncheon keynote at the DGLP, where he spelled out how his online poker bill is moving forward as a piece of stand-alone legislation and/or still could be absorbed into some omnibus bills. Pretty straight-forward, honest-sounding stuff as Barton even talks about his own live real-money play and admits to multi-accounting for play money on PokerStars. [Pokerati Soundcloud]

Adelson Balks at Readiness for Online Poker The poker masses got spun into a tizzy after Vegas politico Jon Ralston “reported” that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has been buzzing around DC that he is morally opposed to online gambling … and that age-verification technology isn’t ready yet. Ralston concludes that this could kill online poker’s chances in Congress as if Adelson alone is more powerful than the combined forces of Caesars, MGM, Steve Wynn, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Michael Gaughan, et al. Quick to cry, some poker players have begun calling for a boycott of Venetian Poker. [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada Regulations Almost Ready While so many chatter about complex details of future online poker, the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board seem to be the only ones systematically moving forward with thorough, enforceable rules and regulations for online gaming. In one of the biggest overhauls to state gaming regs in history, they just released a whole bunch of revisions for licensure and suitable ownership that Big and Small casinos alike are paying close attention to. [gaming.NV.gov]

Fry Howie? Funny/sad, shortly after Black Friday I thought we might be seeing T-shirts that said “Free Howard!” not “Fry Howard!” But loyalty can be a fickle bitch when you eff up with someone else’s money. Hence this flash creation for players wishing to express their personal outrage against Full Tilt and Howard Lederer violently. [PokerListings]

UB Player Database Leaked Lots of offline debate over how and why nearly 3 million poker-player IDs leaked out. Work of a disgruntled employee or scuttling the ship before UB ultimately hits sea-floor? And will there be more such pressings of self-destruct? [Haley’s Poker Blog]

Rest o’World: Cyprus on Crackdown, South Africa’s Open-Market Mind, German Pre-unification Some of the other key political moves from the rest of the world, as the future of legal online poker (and gambling) actively takes shape … the mediterranean island that isn’t Malta doesn’t have moral opposition, they just want their cut (kinda like Kentucky) … while South Africa continues its progressive-minded movement from staunch opposition to tolerance to active support of online gambling … all while the German province of Schleswig-Holstein’s acceptance of new online poker rules is so big it actually moved some major market needles. [Legal Poker Sites]


Not If, But How …

@PPAPoker: Players have shifted attitudes in Washington DC

by , Oct 26, 2011 | 4:46 am

ppa al damato barton hearingAs you know, the House Subcommittee for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing [yesterday] examining the potential regulation of Internet gambling.  The hearing entitled, “Internet Gambling: Is There a Safe Bet?” called upon a variety of witnesses to discuss how best Internet gambling can be regulated in the U.S.  Among the witnesses was Poker Player Alliance Chairman and former Senator, Alfonse D’Amato.  A complete list of witnesses and their full testimonies is available here. You can also watch the full 2 ½ hour Committee hearing on CSPAN.com here.

Meeting with members before and after the hearing, I was immensely proud to hear every lawmaker tell us that they are being contacted by poker players. The question on the lawmakers’ minds was not “if” internet poker should be regulated, but rather “how” regulation should look.

Senator D’Amato did an exceptional job and delivered impassioned remarks defending your right to play.  He urged Congress to adopt rules and regulations to ensure American consumers have a safe marketplace in which to play poker on the Internet.  In fact, when it came to consumer protections the conclusion of every witness before the Committee was that regulation was far better than the status quo.  And, more importantly, that sentiment was also expressed almost unanimously by the lawmakers who attended the hearing.  The question on the lawmakers’ minds was not “if” internet poker should be regulated, but rather “how” should regulation look.

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Text of the Barton Bill

Online poker's next go in Washington DC the best chance yet?

by , Jun 23, 2011 | 9:51 pm

Crap, I’m never gonna get to that Deep Purple concert before Smoke on the Water … stepped away from the Pokerati Game @PalmsPokerRoom for a bit, and sure enough the draft of Joe Barton’s online poker bill — one crafted with more input from players (via the PPA) than squabbling online poker entities, and supposedly supported already by Harry Reid, has leaked out.

You’ll have to tell me what’s in it … I gotta go to the concert — and I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada won’t be able to resist manipulating it in some way by the time it moves outta the house … but feel good overall that it will be more player-focused from the start than any that preceded it … simply because Black Friday put so many other battles amongst potential supporters to rest … and we’ll have to reassess, but I really think the conditions look strong for now as opposed to later. And I say that even though I’ll bet that Barton’s staff didn’t take my suggestion and include any provisions for splashing pots with concert tickets in the Pokerati game. (Didn’t they see I still have a 214 area code!?) Hey, special-interest politics is about compromise, right?

Maybe I’m wrong, but I just think the masses of poker players are in a better spot for such negotiations in 2011 than we were in 2010 … especially if this 101-page bill I skimmed is more than just smoke-and-mirrors on the water, which now it has no reason to be.

Click here to download a copy of the Barton online poker bill … so hot off the not-for-publication-yet presses, it’s listed as HR _______.


Joe Barton headed to Vegas with new online poker bill in tow

WSOPolitics: What's gonna be different this time?

by , Jun 21, 2011 | 2:17 pm

photo by James Berglie

Joe Barton’s online poker: “And then he three-bet me on the turn with — get this — jack-high! How sick is that?”

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) will be in Las Vegas for Friday’s shuffle-up-and-deal … and possibly to unveil his new online poker (only) bill.

The Texas Republican has taken the baton from Barney Frank (D-MA), by way of John Campbell (R-CA), to lead the charge for licensed and regulated online poker in the House, with a new bill his office says he plans to “drop” either Friday or closer to the July 4th weekend.

It’s still probably too early to make decent predictions, prognostication, and prop bets — haven’t even seen a draft yet — but the forces lining up this go-round are indeed different than before.

This time we’re talking about an online poker-only bill, with a different committee path, and a conservative Republican — perhaps looking to put a bipartisan feather in his cap before the ’12 elections — charged with rallying support on his side of the aisle.

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Texas? REPUBLICAN? Endorses Online Poker?!?!?!

by , May 25, 2011 | 4:35 pm

I know it runs counter to conventional poker(ati) wisdom that this could be true, but, well, it kinda is:

Republicans offered some hope Tuesday to online poker players sidelined by the Obama administration’s “Black Friday” crackdown.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is planning to introduce legislation that would legalize and regulate online poker and said he hopes the measure can pass both chambers of Congress this session.

“Poker is a game of skill,” Barton said in defense of the sites during a press conference outside the Capitol.

He suggested those who believe poker to be a game of chance should try playing with their own money against world champion Greg Raymer, who stood behind him at the press conference.

Shockingly, too, most Pokeratizens will probably find this curious:

Barton said he has spoken to the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and hopes to move a bill through the committee in the near future. Barton said the bill is being finalized in consultation with the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).

OK, that’s enough from me — I’m just a morlock, and I’ll probably be locked up for this, but hey…breaking news!

Via genes @ Big Bill Quick’s joint…who’s kind of got his headline wrong, unless I’m so drunk I can’t read the news.


DC Charity Poker

by , May 1, 2009 | 10:34 pm

Cool event went down this week in Washington DC — a fundraiser for Put a Bad Beat on Cancer, where a bunch of politicos got together with Team Full Tilt Howard Lederer, Phil Gordon, and Rafe Furst to experience the joys of getting beginner poker lessons and playing in a terrible an exciting, luck-friendly blind-structure tournament (with rebuys!) … all for a good cause.

Check out the video coverage from Politico.com:

My observations:

  • Had Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) read Joe Navarro, he’d know that we know he’s probably not being truthful when he says he’s happy to be there … unless, of course, that’s just his baseline response.
  • Multiple politicians admit to experimenting with poker “when I was in college.”
  • Barney Frank (D-MA) says he doesn’t play poker because he doesn’t enjoy it … but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to “repeal the foolish law that makes it illegal for people who want to gamble to gamble over the internet.” (So we can say “illegal” now?)
  • Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gets credited with having the best poker face … and I hope state legislators back home take note that even some gray-haired, vote-conscious conservatives are totally cool with poker.
  • Nice closing line by Lederer about politics being just another form of poker.