The big news in the world of poker yesterday was the opening of Ultimate Poker, the first legal online poker site in the United States since the passage of the UIGEA in 2006. Poker players heralded the day, but the industry is still seeking much needed federal legislation. It appears that the issue may hit Congress yet again very soon.
According to an article on politico.com, there is a new effort within Congress to try and pass a federal iGaming bill. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is currently working on a new bill that will legalize online poker and address other iGaming concerns. At first the news about this was speculative, but the news was later confirmed in an email to Politico from Kevin Fogarty, an aide to Rep. King, confirmed the story. Fogarty says that the bill will be introduced by Rep. King shortly.
While no specific details on the bill were offered, the bill is said to be less “Nevada-centric” and will limit iGaming to mostly online poker. In addition, there will be some provisions provided for state lotteries. Part of the reason behind this new initiative revolves around the growing number of states looking to legalize iGaming in one form or another. It is even hinted that they would like to get something in place before New Jersey and Deleware are able to get their games online.
Keep in mind that a bill has not been introduced and it is unknown how much of the bill has even been drafted. How far this new bill will go remains to be seen considering that an initiative between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Senator Jon Kyl failed to even get introduced last year. One thing does appear clear, and that state iGaming legislation is beginning to light a fire under Congress and it is a matter of time before they have to step in and address the issue.