Wednesday December 4, 2013 : U.S. CONGRESS TO HOLD YET ANOTHER ONLINE GAMBLING HEARING
December 10 hearing set to reexamine online gambling legalization….and positive news from Pennsylvania.
A US Congress sub-committee is to reexamine the online gambling legalization issue as the year draws to a close, according to tweets from the usually well-informed director for legislative affairs at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, Jennifer M. Webb.
The decision to again take up the issue has been made by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, which is to hold a hearing in Washington DC starting at midday on December 10th, 2013 entitled “The State of Online Gaming.”
The agenda includes discussion on a "reinterpretation of the Wire Act", a subject that fundamentally altered the face of US online gambling when the Department of Justice acknowledged that the Wire Act applied only to online sports betting (see previous InfoPowa reports).
The agenda also references Joe Barton's H.R. 2666, the Internet Poker Freedom Act. This is a bill that has so far gained little traction in Congress in seeking to regulate and federally licence online poker only…that suggests that this may be the focus of any new federal attempt to move on limited legalization.
That comes a little late, with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey already operational and other states actively considering the possibilities for intrastate online gambling in general.
The Poker Players Alliance action group is clearly familiar with the upcoming hearing and is already listed as a witness, reports the PocketFives poker information site.
The hearing is the latest in a long line of apparently fruitless Congressional hearings and proposals on various aspects of online gambling over the years, all of which made little impact or progress.
In related news, it appears that Pennsylvania is back on the online gambling radar; on Tuesday a state Senate committee unanimously agreed with a proposal put forward by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, who wants the state legislature to undertake a serious debate on the possibilities for legalised intrastate online gambling in Pennsylvania.
Scarnati warned that competitive developments in neighbouring New Jersey made it imperative that state lawmakers take the issue seriously and give it thorough consideration.
The resolution will now move forward to the full Senate for discussion and a vote on its further progress.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have blown hot and cold on internet gambling; earlier this year Rep. Tina Davis failed in a legalization initiative that died in committee