Update: Politicians Stall Progress of Online Poker Federal Legalisation

ldquo;Town Hallrdquo; discussions completed, lack of encouraging news

Poker Players Alliance organized the quot;Town Hallquot; style meeting in Las Vegas over the weekend to enable various discussions about online poker and expected federal legalization.

Time is running out for a House approval, according to the Texas House Representative Joe Barton, whose legalisation bill has been held in Congress for months together with a more general bill by California Representative John Campbell.

He also warns that if the bill cannot be approved this month (July), the limbo would continue until after the presidential election later this year, when possibly Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl could do something in the Senate.

Fred Upton, the House Commerce Committee chairman, expressed his concerns in the face of political opposition and challenges, leading to an unlikely passage of the bill by the House this month.

Barton’s briefing also suggested that this sensitive period in politics bedevills any decisions that might evoke criticism, resulting in a quot;play it safequot; approach.

Possible ways to assist in getting legalisation bills through were discussed by John Pappas of the PPA who opined that the ‘lame duckquot; session of Congress following the presidential elections at the end of the year might present an opportunity, but there seemed to be no actual certainty in the mentioned prospect.

PPA appears to believe in the unlikely coalition of Senators Reid and Kyl as a solution for federal legalization of online poker.

Pappas stated that all preparatory actions for the online poker legalisation bill have been done and the rest is now a question of political timing.

A possible Republican victory in the presidential elections was assessed to lead to more conservative politicians feeling sufficiently confident to try and beef up the Wire Act, an outdated law that was largely rendered powerless in all but the sports betting sense last December when the Justice Department declared that it did not embrace online casino and poker gambling. Pappas said that any attempt to meddle with the Wire Act that did not include an exemption for online poker would face waves of political and lobby group resistance.

As per the observers present at the meeting, the more dynamic legalisation attempts at state levels are more likely to give results in the future, than the Congress which is too much absorbed with political manouevreing.

Even Pappas himself made some comments suggesting that PPA does not believe in federal solution being passed soon. In conclusion, Pappas correctly observed that it was perhaps time for PPA to start working on a strategy focusing on state-by-state legalisation process.

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