Friday July 1,2011 : Joe Barton talks about his bill to federally legalise internet poker in the USA
Texas Republican representative Joe Barton upped the ante Thursday on his bid to federally legalise online poker in the United States, giving an effective interview on CNBC television.
The interview can be viewed here: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000030759
Barton remained calm and polite throughout the interview despite the harassing and negative attitude of the presenters, giving a clear and lucid update on his efforts and intentions for the bill (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Answering questions from two interviewers, Barton stressed that the legalization was for online poker only, and said that his measure allowed for a process fee that would generate tax revenues in the neighbourhood of $3 billion a year.
He emphasised the importance of the skill element in poker, saying: “If you and I play poker over time, whichever one of us is the best player, is whoever is going to win the other person's money.”
One interviewer aggressively and rather patronisingly claimed that gamblers could lose large sums of money quickly, and that there was a danger that legalization could create “…an industry that effectively preys on the weaker members of society, those that are perhaps not very bright, that are poor, and it would advertise the potential for quick riches and take money from the weaker members of society.”
Rep. Barton calmly pointed out that research has established that the average account for an online poker player is the United States has been about $80.
“Eighty – not 800 or 8,000, so this isn't a high roller issue,” Barton pointed out.
The politician went on to emphasise that operators would have to first have a licence in the state in which they operate and then acquire a licence from the US Department of Commerce in Washington.
“So they have to get two separate licenses and the bill has, I think, very strict safeguards protecting against underage poker players and problem poker players. These are very sophisticated programs to track somebody who might have a problem and then do something about it,” the Congressman said.
“So i don't think that would be a major problem at all if this bill were to become law.”