The legislation would require poker websites to be licensed, would require technology to block underage players and would require programs to discourage compulsive gamblers. The bill would still allow states to conduct their own regulation.
“Poker is an all-American game. It’s a game that I learned as a teen and continue to play today. Just like millions of other players I enjoy the strategy and skill involved," Barton said in a statement
"I continue to be supportive of the Americans who play poker online. They deserve to have a legal, on-shore system that makes sure everyone is playing in an honest, fair structure. The complex web of state and local regulations now being devised could leave players at risk."
Despite the legal uncertainty, online gaming is already a multibillion dollar industry.
"Internet poker is here to stay in America, and we are all better served through licensing and regulation that implements high standards to protect consumers, thwart fraud and abuse, and guarantee the proper safeguards against underage and addictive gambling,” former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (D-Nev.), a supporter of online gaming, told The Las Vegas Sun last month that he is skeptical Congress will pass legislation on the issue. He argued that King's bill is too sweeping and had alienated lawmakers.