The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has been invited to testify at an online gambling hearing before a House subcommittee on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.
The House Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee is scheduled to to address the topic entitled “The State of Online Gaming” at the rescheduled time of 12:30 p.m. Although a complete witness list of those expected to testify has not yet been released, PPA vice-president of player relations Rich Muny has confirmed via the organization’s website that the PPA will be offering its insights to subcommittee members.
Muny expects some fireworks at Tuesday’s sit-down, as its likely that billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his anti-Internet gambling stance will be heard. It’s not yet clear if Adelson himself or merely one of his minions will be spewing anti-online gaming rhetoric before subcommittee members. But Muny indicated that opponents of Internet gaming regulation that includes Adelson’s newly-formed coalition “will be at the hearing in full force.”
Currently 11th on Forbes list of wealthiest Americans, Adelson has vowed to fight the proliferation of online gambling legislation in the U.S. The 80-year-old has promised to spend a considerable amount of cash in his effort to persuade U.S lawmakers from approving Internet gambling regulations.
Considering that Adelson heads the Las Vegas Sands Corp. that operates a number of casinos worldwide, many view his opposition to online gambling to be hypocritical. Some have suggested that he may be out of touch with the times, as legalized Internet gambling is quite widespread on a global scale.
On the agenda of the subcommittee that falls under the House Energy & Commerce Committee next Tuesday will be an examination of the regulatory landscape in the U.S. at this point in time. That examination is set to include scrutiny of the DoJ’s reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act two years ago that was the catalyst for states such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware to enact online gambling legislation.
Also under review will be the Internet Poker Freedom Act introduced by Rep. Joe Barton in July. HR 2666 calls for federal approval of online poker that gives each state authority on whether or not to go along with the scheme. It also strengthens the UIGEA by tightening the statute with regard to online casino games.
As many poker players are aware, the general public tends to view online poker as gambling and lumps it in with other games of chance such as blackjack and roulette. But poker is a game of skill played against other players and not the casino or ‘house.’ Barton’s proposal rightly identifies poker as a skill game, differentiating it from the others that clearly are set up to give casinos an advantage and ensure profits over the long haul.
We will post updates next week on the hearing, here at [geolink href=”https://www.USAFriendlyPokerSites.com”]USAFriendlyPokerSites.com[/geolink].