If you listen to Barry Greenstein's blog on The Poker Road (link at the bottom of this article), and more specifically, listen to his October 25th 2007 entry entitled "Washington D.C.", then you will probably come away feeling fairly optimistic about the future of online poker in the United States.
In the audio blog, Barry Greenstein talks about the lobbying efforts that are being made to try and ensure that either the Barney Frank bill or the John Wexler bill get passed.
According to Greenstein, the Barney Frank bill basically says that people should be allowed to do what they want in the comfort of their own homes (including playing online poker) and the Wexler bill looks to carve out an exemption for skill games in the UIGEA, which would include online poker.
According to Greenstein, the meetings with politicians went well, and he feels as though they are close to getting the support that they need to pass at least one of the bills. He said that there were three main points made:
1. The current bill isn't working and is unenforceable
2. Significant tax revenues are being lost by not regulating online poker and taxing it
3. Multi-billion dollar sanctions are being threatened by the EU for violating WTO rulings as it pertains to online poker
Greenstein said that point #3 was the one that held the most weight with the politicians.
There is a congressional hearing on online poker held on November 6th that will be chaired by John Conyers. Barry Greenstein will be the lone professional poker player that will be testifying, and if you ask me, there isn't a better representative for the game.
Greenstein said that he would be surprised if one of these bills doesn't pass in the next six months, leading to the "legalization" and regulation of online poker in the US, in states where there aren't conflicting state laws already in place.
Barry Greenstein's Audio Blog
Filed Under: UIGEA