Over the past decade, it has been Democrats Barney Frank and Harry Reid that have led all efforts to regulate online gambling in the US at a federal level. On Thursday, a major breakthrough came in the effort when a Republican lawmaker unveiled the latest Internet gambling legislation.
Representative Peter King launched the latest attempt to regulate online poker, and made it apparent that he believes state by state regulation is not in the best interest of consumers.
“A common federal standard will ensure strong protections for consumers, protect against problem and underage gambling, and make it easier for businesses, players, lawmakers, and regulators to navigate and freely participate,” said King in a statement released after the bill was introduced in Congress.
One of the big features included in the new bill is the creation of the Office of Internet Gambling Oversight in the Treasury Department. The office would be responsible for setting and upholding the regulations for online gambling in the US.
The King legislation comes at a time when several lawmakers are busy working on their own versions of Internet gambling regulations. Senator Reid, who has proposed several bills that have failed in the past, is working with Republican Senator Dean Heller on a new bill.
Representative Joe Barton is also expected to introduce a version of online poker legislation. It is unknown whether any of these bills will have enough support to finally break through what has been staunch opposition to any changes in the online gambling laws currently in place.
Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have all taken the issue into their own hands in recent years. New Jersey and Delaware are expected to have online casinos open by the end of the year. Nevada has already launched their first online poker room in beta form. Other Nevada online casinos could be open for business by the end of the summer.