John Campbell to Introduce Online Poker Bill

John CampbellOn Friday, there was some good news for US online poker players to come out of Washington DC, with new hope regarding the future of online poker.

The push to legalize online poker in the United States has a new leader, with congressman John Campbell, a California Republican, announcing his plans to re-introduce the online poker bill which was originally drafted by Republican Barney Frank just a few months ago.

After the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives last year, it became obvious that a Republican taking up the fight for regulated online gaming in the United States would be crucial, and John Campbell has assumed the role.

John Campbell will be teaming up with another of the cause’s biggest champions, Barney Frank, in efforts to pass legislation that would provide licensing and regulation of online gambling operators, effectively legalizing online poker in the United States. Campbell and Frank wish to continue the work put forward by Senator Harry Reid last year.

According to the PPA, Campbell’s bill outlines a number of changes to the proposed online poker bill legislation.

Among the changes in the Campbell/Frank legislation will be:

– Removal of the infamous 15-month “blackout period”
– Allowing worldwide customers
– Increasing the number of states that would automatically opt-in
– Establishing a favorable taxing system for players

It’s been reported that Campbell will also insist that each online gambling operator must have facilities located in the United States, and that all players must be at least 21 years of age.

In reply to this recent news, PPA Executive Director John Pappas said:

“It is welcomed and exciting news that Congressman Campbell intends to introduce a bill that would license internet poker in the U.S. Last year, Mr. Campbell emerged from the debate in House Financial Services Committee as sensible conservative who understands the benefits of a regulated market rather than the policy of failed prohibition.”

For online poker players from the United States, the good news is that the introduction of Campbell’s bill is a clear indication that online gambling advocates have not given up on the push for regulated online gaming, despite the setbacks that occurred in 2010. However, the bad news is that even if the online poker bill moves into the mark-up phase, it still requires the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to decide if it will be brought to the house floor for a vote.