On July 22, 2007, Congressman Robert Wexler was interviewed regarding his proposal which seeks to legalize online poker. Robert Wexler's bill, entitled "The Skill Game Protection Act", seeks to make an exception of online poker because it is a game of skill.
Online exceptions currently allow horse racing, fantasy sports and lotteries to be enjoyed by Internet gamblers.
Wexler said that the UIGEA was the worst thing that the Congress passed as legislation. He further stated that he was pushed to file his proposal once the Democrats passed the UIGEA.
What he learned is that poker is a really popular game, compared to football or basketball. He said that there is nothing wrong with playing poker so long as there are adequate regulations to control it and keep young people out of it.
He also applauds the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, for having a bill (HR 2046) that would be useful for credit card transactions on all types of online betting.
In addition, he is also one of the sponsors of the bill, so of course he thinks that it should also pass. Congressman Wexler said that some of the pro online poker proposals that should also pass are Congressman Jim McDermott's bill which aims to legalize and regulate taxation of online poker and Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley's proposal.
The proposal calls for a thorough study of online poker for taxation, regulating and providing adequate protection for youth.
Wexler believes that his bill and the bill of the 3 other congressmen could work well together. Wexler said that it is surprising that Congress created the UIGEA to prevent poker players of legal age from playing poker online when they know that banning something has not worked in the past.
Poker enthusiasts will just be forced to play on some offshore poker site where safety is not guaranteed. Wexler said that there are two reasons why he is pushing for the proposal. The first reason is that poker is considered a national past time in the U.S. and the second reason is the change in leadership in Congress. He added that this proposal would never even have the chance to be reviewed.
08/02/2007 23:25 PM