Berkley, Campbell, Cohen Supporting Joe Barton Poker Legislation

Published on Jun 26th, 2011

In the wake of Friday's announcement that Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) had introduced HR 2366, a bill designed to legalize and regulate online poker in the United States, several lawmakers have had a chance to weigh in. The poker bill already sports 11 Congressmen on both sides of the aisle, several of whom stated their case for its passage in a press release sent out on Friday.

Read our breakdown of the Barton online poker bill.

Barton's legislation calls for New Jersey and Nevada to become the primary regulators out of the gate. Then, other states could apply to dole out licenses. Regardless, sanctioned gaming outfits can offer online poker to customers in any state that hasn't opted out and, according to the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), non-U.S. players can also get in on the action.

Barton (pictured) asserted, "Poker is an all-American game, and it's a game that requires strategy and skill. Millions of Americans play poker online. Although it's legal to play for money, it's illegal to process the transactions that allow players to collect their earnings. We want to have an ironclad system to make sure that those who play for money are playing in an honest, fair system where they can reap the benefits of their winnings. To put it simply, this bill is about having the personal freedom to play a skill-based game you enjoy without fear of breaking the law."

When participated in a Washington, D.C. fly-in organized by the PPA in May, many staffers' ears perked up when they learned that Barton was the engine behind HR 2366.

Among those we talked to last month were personnel from the office of Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN, pictured). Cohen explained in a press release why he's attached his name to HR 2366: "Online poker has been growing for years without the appropriate security measures necessary to protect consumers. Poker players should have the comfort of knowing they are playing poker on legal gaming sites that are fair, safe, and credible."

"Our bill would create a licensing regime so online poker players are assured they are placing bets with reputable gaming groups that are legal and won't take advantage of them," Cohen boasted.

Also attaching her name to the bill was Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV, pictured), whose state will be heavily relied on if HR 2366 were made law. Berkley, one of its 11 original co-sponsors, argued, "This legislation simply says that Americans should be able to play poker legally over the internet from the privacy of their own homes. As we have shown in Nevada, well regulated gaming protects players, operators, and the integrity of the game while also ensuring those who cannot legally bet are denied the ability to participate."

To start with, only existing companies in the United States offering legalized gaming would be granted licenses for online poker. Then, other outfits, including those located offshore, would be able to obtain permits. Only players at least 21 years of age would be able to sign up and no credit cards would be permitted for deposits.

In the House Financial Services Committee, Congressmen John Campbell (R-CA, pictured) and Barney Frank (D-MA) have introduced HR 1174, a bill similar to Barton's, but permitting more forms of internet gaming.

Despite seemingly introducing a competing bill, Campbell and Frank are both co-sponsors of Barton's. The former acknowledged, "The discussion surrounding the legalization of online gaming in this country needs to move forward. At this moment, we have otherwise law-abiding American citizens committing a crime simply by playing poker online."

Campbell added, "Clearly, Americans want to gamble on the internet and policymakers need to provide both the freedom to do so and ensure appropriate consumer protections are in place. Regulating online gaming and making certain that these sites are operating legally in America will also create economic growth through generated tax revenue and the possibility of attracting foreign players to U.S. sites."

Other co-sponsors of HR 2366 include John Conyers (D-MI), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Mike Honda (D-CA), Peter King (R-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX, pictured), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and Linda Sanchez (D-CA). Seven of the co-sponsors are Democrats, while four co-sponsors and the bill's primary advocate are Republicans.

Check out the Poker Legislation forum on for the latest poker legislation news.


  1. Go Perlmutter Go

  2. What are this chances this passes both House and Senate?

  3. non-U.S. players can also get in on the action great news

    Originally Posted by LXAchopper602 View Post

    What are this chances this passes both House and Senate?

    That's really hard to say. We are in the very early stages of the legislative process. The bill still has to go through Committee first.

    Thread Starter
  5. I wonder how long this will take them?

    I like how they say they do this because they want our citizens to have a fair game....instead of We just want the money haha

    Edited By: Lengthwise905 Jun 26th, 2011 at 05:22 PM
  6. Possible timeline?

    Originally Posted by opgonbad View Post

    Go Perlmutter Go


    Originally Posted by Boofer View Post

    Possible timeline?

    There's no time line on this. We've heard that the bill could be discussed in committee as soon as August, but nothing is set in stone.

    Thread Starter
  9. basically it took black friday to hopefully create a green monday

  10. and yesterday non-US players were out. AND...." can offer online poker to customers in any state that hasn’t opted out " so multitudes of us will still be locked out. uh, yea thanks. And no credit cards, so give up your personal bank info. Oh, I feel so much better my government is looking out for ME. lmao.

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