US rep. to introduce online poker bill in Congress


LAS VEGAS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas planned to introduce a federal bill Friday to legalize online poker, hoping to pull the estimated $6 billion industry out of the shadows at a time when its top operators face serious legal troubles.

The Republican lawmaker told The Associated Press that the bill would let states choose whether they want to allow residents to play poker on the Internet, and require operators to already have gambling licenses in at least one U.S. state.

A law passed in 2006 barred financial institutions from processing illegal gambling payments, but many have complained since then that it didn’t outlaw playing poker and didn’t define well enough exactly what is permissible.

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