The AGA is urging Congress to push through an online poker bill which would legalize and regulate the game in the United States on a federal level.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by Democrat Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona, needs to be heard by Congress this year, or it will fail like all the other attempts made by politicians to see online poker and gambling legalized in the United States in recent years.
The American Gaming Association has now made a last ditch call to Congress not to miss this small window of opportunity, and to act once and for all. The AGA believes that if attempts fail this year, individual states will continue to introduce their own legislation to allow intrastate online poker in their jurisdictions – and therefore create a landscape of multiple authorities licensing online gambling operators around the country, making it impossible for federal authorities to extend any control.
The President of the American Gaming Association, Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr. said that without quick action by the Congress, the United States will soon witness the biggest expansion of legal gambling in its history. The President continued that without any federal guidelines laid out, there will be completely inadequate oversight that causes endless and unnecessary risk and problems for US law enforcement agencies and consumers.
Individual States Move Forward with Online Poker Legislation
But while the Reid-Kyl bill, entitled the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012” is currently stuck in legislative pipelines, nothing seems to be stopping states such as Nevada and Delaware from steaming ahead with their own intrastate legislation. Both these states have legalized online poker, with Nevada already issuing licenses to poker service providers and expecting to see the launch of its first internet poker site sometime early next year. New Jersey is also making headway and legalized intrastate online gambling is also expected to come to that state in the coming months.
The AGA continues to insist that Congress establish online gambling standards which would apply across the country, especially pertaining to the protection of minors, safe gambling and risk reduction.