Last month we bought news of the fact that Congressman Peter King would be introducing an online gambling bill, and indeed that has come to fruition as the Gambling Regulation, Enforcement and Consumer Protection Act of 2013. King's bill has several differences to Senator Reid's bill in 2012 and the 2013 attempt wants to “foster a level playing field” among everyone involved. The other main difference is that King's bill takes into account all forms of online gambling except online sports betting, whereas Reid's was Online Poker only. This has sparked initial cries of 'too much' as if an online poker only bid failed then why would adding more to the mix succeed, and many observers are already agreeing that the bill is a non starter.
Federal Vs State Legalization
The bill also stresses the urgency for it all to happen rather quickly due to the amount of states going solo and regulating varying forms of online gambling themselves, and offers a solution that will bring everything under one set of rules for all. Whilst in doing that however, it also gives states that have already given the green light to online gambling the option to opt out, and stay as there are. This is again somewhat confusing as far from bringing everything under one roof, states still have an opt out option, and with Nevada recently approving international compacts, others may vary well take that road, should they indeed be interested in online gambling tax revenue, and this is another issue. Many states simply are not interested and although 3 have given the thumbs up, there are plenty more that have either dismissed proposals or have not even given the issue thought. Even The Poker Players Alliance are pinning much hope on this one and are preferring the state by state route. Within the proposal there is a 120 day period where states have the choice not to be a part of it all, and again, that may deter a fair few from even considering it in the first place, and there is also mention of the setting up of an Office of Internet Gambling Oversight within the Treasury department. This is another wait and see episode, however if history is anything to go by then Congressman King will have to at least go back to the drawing board, and quite possibly forget the whole thing for a while.