June 30, 2011
A New Income Tax Revenue Stream? Bill Introduced to Legalize Online Poker
Actually it would legalize online poker if allowed in your state. HR 2366 [Open Congress] would establish a program for state licensing for Internet poker companies for winning (and losing) real money. What the heck, wouldn't that be a "good thing" for licensing fee revenues and income tax purposes (if you win)?
HR 2366 is sponsored by Congressman Joe Barton, R-TX. I'm thinking he may be a Texas Hold'em player. In a WSOP video interview, Barton forecasted that the bill, if passed, realistically wouldn't pass until August of next year. Perhaps that can be sped up a bit. Barton called on Internet poker players to unite -- contact your House representative and ask him or her to add their name to the bill's list of sponsors.
When the interviewer mentioned that she heard that Barton is considered the best poker player on the Hill, he refused to confirm that. In fact he named another representative and a senator who may be better. Is it just me or do you think he was priming the pump for a showdown match? To view the WSOP video, visit this Business Law Prof Blog post.
Jeez, I completely forgot that I joined the Poker Players Alliance years ago until I received an email. Here's part of the emailed PPA Member Action Alert message:
On June 24th, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2366, the Online Poker Act of 2011. This bill will restore your online poker rights by allowing licensed companies to offer Internet poker with real-money play to U.S. residents. The bill is a huge leap forward for the poker community in the aftermath of Black Friday. Twelve of Mr. Barton’s colleagues have already become sponsors of this legislation:
Rep. Andrews, Robert [NJ-1]
Rep. Berkley, Shelley [NV-1]
Rep. Campbell, John [CA-48]
Rep. Cohen, Steve [TN-9]
Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14]
Rep. Frank, Barney [MA-4]
Rep. Grimm, Michael G. [NY-13]
Rep. Honda, Michael M. [CA-15]
Rep. King, Peter T. [NY-3]
Rep. Paul, Ron [TX-14]
Rep. Perlmutter, Ed [CO-7]
Rep. Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39]
We are urging the poker community to TAKE ACTION to support this important bill. Below are a number of actions you can take to make your voice heard. Please be sure to share this email with your family and friends and encourage them to act as well. Let’s seize this moment and let Congress know we care about the right to play poker!
This take action page can also be found at: www.theppa.org/takeaction
Well, it's not exactly one of the most pressing issues facing our nation but if the financial industry can legally gamble, why can't I. At least I wouldn't request a federal bailout to cover my losses. And one former LLB co-editor and I want to play Texas Hold'em online in the middle of the night when our long-suffering wives are asleep.
Love the "patriotic" symbolism in the email's image header. [JH]