Bill to Allow Skill Games Online Introduced

Published on: June 8, 2007 

A Congressman from Florida introduced a new bill to the House of Representatives yesterday, that if passed, will exempt a number of ‘skill games’ from the UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act).    

The UIGEA, that was signed into law late last year by President Bush, pretty much bans any online gambling activity in the US by prohibiting banks and payment processors to make any transactions to and from internet gaming sites.      

The bill proposed by Florida Congressman Robert Wexler is not aimed to undo the UIGEA but to simply exempt certain games from the ban.  The bill is titled The Skill Game Protection Act and seeks to allow players to legally compete for real money while playing games of skill online (i.e. poker, chess, mahjong and bridge).       

The bill also calls for a system to be put in place that would regulate and tax the skill games that are being played for real money, should the bill be passed.  This would help to ensure that fairness in all games and also to help control against compulsive gambling and gambling by minors.     

Wexler has a lot of support backing his attempt to legalize, regulate and tax skill games.  For one, Congressman Barney Frank, who earlier this year, also put forth a bill aimed at the regulation of online gambling activities.  Other supporters include; the heads of a number of online payment processors and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).     

"Poker and other games of skill have fallen victim to bad public policy. Wexler's plan will give skill games the rightful protection they deserve and it will require the proper safeguards to protect children and those prone to abuse." stated, in a press release from the Poker Players Alliance, Senator D'Amato.

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