US On Verge Of Legalising Online Poker

In what could be a complete u-turn in the US government’s poker policy, Senator Robert Menendez is believed to be introducing today legislation that will help overturn the online ban and seek to regulate and tax the online poker industry instead.
Initially, there was expectation that Menendez would introduce legislation at the end of July, but he decided to postpone the passage of the bill, known as  S 3616 until after the National Poker Week celebrations.
The Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act (S 3616) specifically legalises internet poker in the United States, as well as ‘games of skill’ between player and player where there is no house interference, with poker, bridge, and mahjong being mentioned in this category.
According to the Poker Players alliance (PPA) the bill which is expected to be passed today will be similar to S 3616, but would vary from that of Chairman Barney Frank of the House Financial Services, the major difference being Menendez’s bill relates specifically to online poker and other “games of skill, whereas Frank’s bill would also seek to regulate other gambling activities. In either case, though, state laws would have precedence over the bill.
The legislation will introduce a framework of regulations that would include poker businesses registering in the US, making certain players are of legal age and playing from areas of legal jurisdiction. Other legislation would seek to safeguard against compulsive gambling, fraud and money laundering.
Poker player’s deposits would be taxed at a rate of 10% with half  going to the state and federal governments.
One sector of the business world who would welcome the new legislation is the banking industry who say that unclear rules relating to what forms of gambling are legal have left them uncertain whether to accept certain transactions. For instance, horse race betting is legal in certain states of the US and illegal in others.

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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