GOP rep. repeats calls for federal online poker bill

As New Jersey becomes the third state to allow Internet gambling for money, Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonCongress may pass background check legislation in funding bill Overnight Cybersecurity: Former Equifax exec charged with insider trading | Dems blast GOP over House Russia probe | Lawmakers weigh security of energy infrastructure Five things to watch for in Texas primaries MORE (R-Texas) is reiterating his calls for a federal online gambling law.

Earlier this year, Barton introduced the Internet Poker Freedom Act, which would create an interstate licensing system for gambling operations that want to offer online poker games where entrants play for money.

Following Nevada and Delaware, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed into law a bill legalizing online gambling in the state in February. On Thursday, New Jersey began trials of its statewide online gambling program. 

According to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, seven casinos have been authorized to participate in this “soft play” period.

The addition of New Jersey to the states that have their own online gambling laws reinforces the need for a uniform federal law, Barton said in a statement.

“New Jersey’s is the latest in a growing list of states to enter the online gambling world and this only reinforces the need for my bill,” he said. 

“Each law is different, which creates uncertainty with a complex array of regulations that could leave players at risk."

Barton said he “will continue to push” for his bill, “because I believe the Federal standards it creates protect the integrity of the game and the rights of those who play it.”

Americans who want to play poker online “deserve to have a legal, on-shore system that makes sure everyone is playing in an honest, fair structure,” he said.