A much anticipated bill designed to exempt poker and other games of skill from the provisions of the anti-online gambling Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act will be introduced this week by Florida Congressman Robert A. Wexler.

Wexler is a Democrat who wants to carve out "skill games" such as online poker, bridge, chess and mahjong from the online gambling prohibition, which forbids financial transactions with online gambling companies.

Describing the new bill, Wexler spokesperson Josh Rogin said: "It allows Americans to play poker online as they should have every right to do."

Wexler's bill will be unveiled the day before the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the subject (see previous InfoPowa reports) at the behest of Congressman Barney Frank, the committee chairman and an outspoken critic of the online gambling ban.

The subject of Friday's hearing will be legalization Frank introduced that would regulate and license online gambling in the United States. Rogin said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, is also supportive of Wexler's bill.