Louisiana Considers Online Poker Legislation

Posted on March 19th, 2013 by Renee Kingsley

Louisiana Considers Online Poker LegislationRep. Mike Huval proposes that lawmakers in Louisiana start considering the legalization of online poker and gambling.

Mike Huval has asked the Pelican State’s House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice, as well as the Senate Committee on Judiciary to examine the prospect of introducing legalized and regulated online poker by 2014.

According to Huval, the state has the potential to enjoy significant economic benefits by allowing legal online poker in its midst.  Already, gambling is a powerful revenue generator for Louisiana and has, over the past two decades or so, padded state offers with over $14.3 billion – around 6% of total revenue. Since gambling was legalized in Louisiana in 1991, 18 commercial casinos have been constructed.

Huval’s attempts to push through online poker legislation come against the backdrop of a growing list of US states who are legalizing their own industries. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already started licensing processes, while others are on the brink of passing the necessary laws.

Online Poker as a Legal Hurdle

One of the things that could stand in the way of Louisiana poker fans enjoying their favorite game over the internet is the fact that the state passed a law in 1997 specifically making it a crime to gamble by computer.

Rep. Huval, however, said that the growth of online poker and gambling has been phenomenal since the law was passed and today thousands of residents of the states use the technology at their fingertips to access online poker and play the game, despite state laws. Huval encouraged the idea of legalizing online poker and gambling in the state, by saying that offshore sites may not have the levels of integrity or protection needed to safeguard Louisiana poker players.

Huval made it clear through his proposal that he wasn’t promoting the idea of gambling per se. He simply wants to provide a way to make it a secure pastime for state residents who do choose to play online.

It’s not a matter of if, he said. It’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen.

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