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Some key lawmakers are taking steps that may legalize internet poker in the United States.
The governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, has signed legislation that allows the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations for internet poker by January 2012. This would allow Nevada to be among the first to offer the service once the U.S. Department of Justice determines that interactive gaming is allowable or when federal legislation is passed.
A representative from Texas, Joe Barton, plans to introduce a piece of legislation that states that poker is a game of “skill.” Reclassifying poker exempts it from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which would allow companies to process payments from American poker players through both American and foreign online poker companies. This would be another step towards legalizing online poker in the U.S.; another benefit would be that any online casino bonus would be available for domestic gamblers.
Several members of the House of Representatives have also introduced a bill – separate from Rep. Barton’s – that looks to legalize, regulate, and tax online gambling in the United States. This bill is called Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act and would let vendors to get federal licenses to allow them to operate in the United States. This bill does place some limits on wagers like people who are late on child support would not be able to place bets and the bettors would have to place loss limits before using these sites.
These combined actions are bringing the possibility of online gambling in the US closer for those who partake in the activity and would change the landscape of internet gambling.