Subcommittee to Hold Discussion on Online Poker

A hearing on legalizing online poker at the federal level called The State of Online Gaming will be held on December 10, which happens to be a Tuesday. According to official website of The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the “current regulatory landscape for online gaming after the Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act” will be examined.

The subcommittee will also discuss the “Internal Poker Freedom Act,” also known as H. R. 2666, proposed by Representative Joe Barton. A Texas based congressman, Barton had been advocating legalization of online poker at the federal level for the past several years. The subcommittee is yet to release the list of people who will testify at the hearing.

This need not necessarily be a reason for poker enthusiasts to rejoice because many experts are of the opinion that chances of federal legalization of online poker are non-existent. The online poker debate is too intense at present. Representative Barton, however, is quite optimistic about his bill.

Since there is no online poker bill at the federal level, a few US states decided to legalize online gaming within their borders. US states that have already legalized and regulated online poker and other forms of online gaming are Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Many more US states are expected to legalize online poker in 2014.

Everybody is not in favor of online poker in the US. One of the most formidable opponents to online gaming legalization is Sheldon Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands, a giant gambling company. Adelson is in the process of launching a coalition to prevent the legalization of online poker in the US.

Recently, Adelson told Forbes that he is willing to spend an unlimited amount of money to crush the development of online gambling in the country. The statement he made to the Forbes was his first public statement on the subject of online poker after the Washington Post reported that he will be launching his “Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling” in Jan 2014.

Adelson said: “My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out. I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the Internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM.” He also told Forbes, “I am willing to spend whatever it takes.”

Adelson, who is worth around 28.5 billion dollars, spent nearly $100 million to introduce a Republican into the White House in the year 2012. He says that he is against online gambling legalization because he feels that it would be making gambling too accessible to problem gamblers and those who are underage.

This summer, he wrote an op-ed for Forbes stating that a “plague” could descend on the country if it legalizes online gambling, which he called “a toxin.”

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