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Entries in Table Games (1)

Monday
Dec062010

Legal Internet Poker Could Give US Casinos Share of $25 Billion Pie

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than 2,000 websites currently offer users the chance to wager real cash in games of skill and chance, including poker, according to the American Gaming Association. But most of them are run by offshore companies, industry experts say. Now some lawmakers want to allow U.S.-based casino companies to get into the game -- and a cut of the $25 billion-a-year pie -- by quietly pushing for a change in the law before the end of this year.

A draft bill, first reported by the Wall Street Journal and obtained by ABC News, would legalize online poker playing in the U.S., and establish licensing and reporting requirements for companies, as well as safeguards for consumers. It would also generate tax revenue from wagers, for state and federal governments. Forms of online gambling other than poker would remain prohibited under the bill.

Legalization of online poker forums has long been sought by the U.S. casino industry which says federal gaming regulations have unfairly handicapped their business in a flourishing online marketplace and left American consumers vulnerable.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 indirectly outlawed online gambling in the U.S. by making it illegal to use a credit card or checking account to place electronic bets. But the industry has repeatedly lobbied Congress to clarify the rules and loosen restrictions on some forms of online gaming, including poker.

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