Ashley Sturgis, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

US Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has formally introduced his federal bill that seeks to regulate online gambling in the United States.

The “Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013” would establish a system of licensing and regulation at the federal level. With the exception of online sports betting, all other forms of gambling, including poker, would be regulated. States with regulation already in place, like in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, would be “grandfathered” into the new system, as would those states with existing regulation for online horse-race betting.

The system would be “opt-out,” meaning States and tribes that did not wish to participate would be required to explicitly exclude themselves. An “Office of Internet Gambling Oversight” would be established as the federal online gaming regulator.

The PPA worked with the office of Peter King in drafting the latest version of the measure, which is similar to previous bills introduced by Congressmen Barney Frank (D–MA) and John Campbell (R–CA) in early 2011.

Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), who introduced online poker legislation in 2011, is also planning on introducing another online poker bill, multiple sources have confirmed. Though the timetable for the formal introduction of Barton’s bill is unknown, last time he chose to announce the new proposed legislation in front of the welcoming crowds at the World Series of Poker. The WSOP is currently running through July 15.

King’s bill is much broader than recent attempts at regulating online gaming at the federal level, as its scope goes beyond online poker and looks to regulate online casinos and slots. Although welcomed as a positive development, online poker’s proponents are less than optimistic for a federal bill’s chances this time around, given the progress made at the state level and the scope of this bill.

The complete text of the bill is available at theppa.org.