Posts Tagged ‘Barton Bill’

Barton Pushing Online Poker Act on Fox Business

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!

Indian Affairs Committee to Determine Poker’s Next Steps

by , Jul 23, 2012 | 3:03 pm

Buzz all over the internet spectrum about what may or may not happen in Washington DC with a Reid-Kyl online poker bill and the Barton Bill’s now-or-never moment and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) rallying GOP support and everyone else coming to grips with the reality that PokerStars will not be sponsoring the next One Drop event in an effort to save the world’s water supply.

But the one FACT representative of real movement on issues important to poker players (online or otherwise) is the hearing this week in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee:

OVERSIGHT HEARING on Regulation of Tribal Gaming: From Brick & Mortar to the Internet

Thursday, July 26 2012
Senate Dirksen Building 628

Eastern Time, obv.

Pokeratizens know that figuring the Indians’ rightful place in an online poker future is an essential part of getting the legally regulated landscape all have been clamoring for since the days of Howard Lederer was the game’s Washington DC ambassador. And yet the Indians have been one group that hasn’t really been able to agree on what they want and need.

Presumably the point of this hearing is to more officially assure everyone is on the same page — or at least currently reading the same chapter. Poker players can feel good that they have a seat at this table, which we should note and remember is covering all tribal gaming, not just online poker some day at the WinStar. Former Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) is a PPA consultant — your special interest contributions at work! — and thus well aware of various player issues, from non-payment of Full Tilt players to cheating at UB. He’s sixth (out of six) on the witness list … putting players in a good position, and possibly in the role of the poker representative making closing arguments.

Calm before the Lame-duck Smackdown

by , Apr 27, 2012 | 2:09 am

Bryan in Washington DC sends along an update from PPA lobbyist Jeff MacKinnon (of Ryan, MacKinnon, Berzok and Vasapoli, LLP) on the current legislative landscape for online poker as seen by those working the hallways of Capitol Hill. It’s apparently all about gearing up for a lame-duck-session smackdown, and riding our net-positive revenue potential onto an appropriate bill.

MacKinnon explains:

Calm before the storm.  That’s what it feels like on Capitol Hill these days.  There’s a certain melancholy feeling around here – sort of like a lull between battles during the Civil War. Coming off a year of budget deficit/debt/payroll tax crises, Congress is quietly putting all pending skirmishes off until an end of the year legislative battle royale. If one were in college – it’s sort of the equivalent of taking an incomplete in every class the whole year then having to do a year’s worth of work in 25 days at the end of the year.

Before everyone rushes to E-Trade and shorts the market, in Washington I’ve found that things are never as good or as bad as they appear to be. The one thing Congress is good at is kicking the can down the road. This will be a test of wills like no other – especially for lobbyists like me.

The breadth and number of contentious issues to be decided after the election is overwhelming and quietly has garnered the attention of many CEOs and financial industry leaders. A few of the issues that must be addressed before the end of the year: expiring Bush tax cuts; extending the debt limit; stopping drastic reimbursement reductions for physians in the Medicare program; an unemployment insurance extension; a transportation bill to fund highway programs in 50 states; changes to the alternative minimum tax; tax credit extenders for renewable energy and research and development; and the expiring payroll tax cut. Combined, these issues on the table are equal to 3% of our GDP.


Senate Leadership Negotiating Online Poker Bill

by , Jan 18, 2012 | 5:27 pm

Poker continues to gain ground on Capitol Hill! On Monday, Gambling Compliance reported some excellent news (click here, subscription required) in an article entitled Reid Says DoJ Opinion Gives Congress Incentive for Internet Poker Bill.

The article quotes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as follows: “It [the Department of Justice’s clarification of its interpretation of the scope of the Wire Act as not including online poker] (will) give us an incentive to get something done. We cannot have a series of laws around the country related to [Internet] gaming, I know a lot about gaming. I’m a former chairman of the Nevada [Gaming] Commission, and I think it’s very important that we have a national law.” The article further states that Sen. Reid has confirmed that he is negotiating with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on a federal online poker bill bill!

When articles like this goes public, lawmakers always look at public reaction. So, let’s all do our part and tell both that we wish for them to push forward with appropriate online poker legislation! Fortunately, we can do this quickly and easily.


In Brief: Legal Biznass

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

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! []

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, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains,,,, and 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. []

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 …

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 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.


Sports Betting Mobilized, Full Tilt Downsized & iPoker in Congress

by , Oct 24, 2011 | 2:38 pm



  • Livefeed @ Congress | “iGaming: Is There A Safe Bet?” |
    The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing Oct. 25 called “iGaming: Is There A Safe Bet?” at 10:30AM EST in the Rayburn House Building RM 2123. Details of this hearing (and witness list – ty to @WriterJen for pointing this out) may be found on the Committee website -> here.
  • @AGAupdate posted this testimony from Frank Fahrenkopf for tomorrow’s congressional hearing.

Witness List:

  • Parry Aftab | Member, Board of Advisors Chairman | FairPlayUSA
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Ernest L. Stevens | Chairman | National Indian Gaming Association
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Keith Whyte |Executive Director | National Council on Problem Gambling
    —> Witness Testimony
  • The Honorable Alphonse D’Amato | Chairman | Poker Players Alliance
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Kurt Eggert | Professor of Law| Chapman University School of Law
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Dr. Dan Romer | Director, Adolescent Communication Institute
    —> Witness Testimony

Aces vs. Aces

by , Sep 13, 2011 | 4:35 pm

Have you seen this new reality show on CNN called “The Republican Tea Party Debate”? LOL, the new season is just getting underway, but already I’m looking forward to seeing who gets voted off the island. The first episode last night was full of groaners and OMGs and gawkable moments … the characters are about as good as any Real World/Survivor crew I’ve ever seen before. You can already tell Michelle Bachman is gonna be the Omarosa and Rick Santorum the Puck.

The poker-player’s candidate, Gary Johnson, apparently didn’t make the cut … but poker did enter into the debate when Mitt Romney challenged Texas Governor Rick Perry’s record on job creation … essentially calling him a luckbox.

Not quite the “licensed and regulated online poker” stuff we mighta hoped for … but hey.

Unfortunately, not only do these two look-a-likes reveal an inherent conservative opposition to “regulation” that the Barton Bill will have to overcome, but also they seem to be talking 5-card draw or maybe 7-stud with the four Aces analogy — as if they’re totally unaware that much of the country is playing Pot-Limit Omaha.

WSOP Main Event, the Reid-Kyl Letter, and Gary Johnson for Poker President

by , Jul 19, 2011 | 11:21 am

We speak again to our friend Dan Pokerati Michalski about the WSOP and the recent developments with online poker as well as his conversation with Gary Johnson.

Poker for President

by , Jul 18, 2011 | 3:55 am

gary johnson wsop poker

POT ODDS: Gary Johnson sees online poker prohibition as emblematic of what’s wrong with America. He also thinks it should be easier to get good weed.

Presidential hopeful Gary Johnson (R-NM) came to the WSOP this year to show his support for online poker efforts, as well as drum up support for his White House run.

He took note of online poker matters shortly after April 15, he said, and couldn’t help but see the similarities between online poker and other issues he’s fought for over his political career — from ski-helmet laws to marijuana reform. He was at the PPA booth shortly before the start of the main event, and I got to chat with the two-term former governor of New Mexico about the Republican shift in support of online poker, where online poker fits in the scheme of national issues (right up at the very top, he says, as an example of American freedoms under attack), and how those who believe in smaller government can support the concept of more regulation. Apparently you can regulate online gambling without regulating the whole internet. And regulations work best, he explains, when a guy like him gets to be “dictator”. (If Obama thought he had “socialist” problems … yeow.)

Pokerati Raw: Courting the Poker Vote
Gary Johnson at the WSOP

Johnson calls on poker players to realize that their passions go beyond just poker and are more of an American issue — like pot — and the immediate solution is to donate to his campaign.

He’s pitching himself as “the people’s president” … and thus is letting poker players know that he can be their guy in DC. For what it’s worth, I didn’t leave with the feeling that this will be a special day having met the future president … but I did leave with the sense that Johnson would help make the issues of online poker players — the basic ones, the simple right to play for money online — part of the national debate.

Check out his campaign website at … and here’s a special donation page set up just for you.

AGA vs. Barton Bill, Legal DC Poker on the Shelf

by , Jul 15, 2011 | 12:07 pm

The Barton bill has raised the hopes of poker players, but not everyone is so enthusiastic about the proposed legislation. Also, more Black Friday fallout from across the Atlantic. Plus, regulated online gambling has been put on hold in Washington, DC