Special Interest Update: New Senate Poker Bill

S. 3616, the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act

by , Oct 1, 2008 | 3:15 pm

The US Senate is hard at work … as we speak/type/read, they’re fixin’ to vote on their version of the Bush-Obama-McCain-endorsed $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill (currently at 450 pages) … hope that works out the way it should.

Meanwhile, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has introduced S. 3616, the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act. Hmm, interesting timing … and more good work from the PPA (and good poker citizens) to make this happen. Poker big-wigs were told of a Senate bill in the making during Alfonse D’Amato’s visit to the WSOP this summer … so this wasn’t any hastily concocted measure.

Major provisions of this bill:

  • Thorough vetting of potential licensees;
  • Mandatory implementation of technologies to protect against underage gambling and to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits;
  • High standards to thwart fraud and abuse of customers;
  • Regulation to prevent money laundering; and,
  • Processes to prevent tax avoidance.

Kinda fascinating to see the (potential) future of online poker (potentially) taking shape, no? It’s taken nine bills to get to this point. Combine this one with the recent bipartisan pushing of HR 6870 from the House Financial Services Committee to the House floor — requiring clarification of the vague definition of “unlawful Internet gambling” contained in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act after industry officials and regulators, including the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury, testified to the UIGEA’s unworkable nature and the burden it places on the already troubled banking industry — and, well, you do the math.

The nation may or may not be on the verge of economic crumble, but as far as poker’s concerned, I think we’re looking at positive EV.

More from the PPA and the actual text of the S. 3616 here.


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