Breaking news from WPN for everyone playing on (and running) online-games web sites: a new online poker bill has been introduced.
The proposed bill would not only legalize the playing of poker online, but it would also regulate the industry by giving powers to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Individual states would also have some input since they could ban the game within their borders.
From the web page of Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
The root of the bill is based in consumer protection. It will create an interstate licensing program for internet poker sites, but at the same time allow states to opt out if they don’t want to participate. At this moment, millions of law-abiding citizens are still playing poker in jurisdictions all over the world, many in places with weak or less than desirable regulatory environments that provide no certainty of legitimacy or safety. This bill will protect them.
The lawmakers believe this is an issue of personal freedom and that the government shouldn’t stop people from playing a game of skill.
If you want to know more about Online Poker market, its facts & figures check here.
A few 2010 figures may explain how big is this phenomenon:
$4.8 bil Size of online global poker market
$1.4 bil Size of U.S. poker market
70% Estimated U.S. market share of PokerStars and Full Tilt
Source: H2 Gambling Capital.
Moreover, online gaming accounts for a huge percentage of worldwide online advertising and marketing effort.
Full details here on WebProNews as well a video interview to Eli Lehrer, the Vice President of The Heartland Institute, about the legislation.