|A Democrat member of the House of Representatives is expected to introduce legislation today to exempt poker and other games from the Internet gambling ban that was passed by the American Congress last year.|
Florida Congressman Robert Wexler said that his bill would slice out ‘skill games’ such as online poker, bridge, chess and mahjong from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that President George W Bush signed into law last October.
'It allows Americans to play poker online as they should have every right to do,' said Josh Rogin, a spokesman for the Congressman. He stated that skill games should be treated differently from games of pure chance. 'You win and lose based on your ability and it's a deserving distinction.'
The online gambling ban passed last year made it illegal for banks and credit card companies to make payments to online gambling sites and Congressman Wexler’s proposals will be unveiled a day before the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the subject at the request of Representative Barney Frank, the Chairman of the Committee and an outspoken critic of the online gambling ban.
Rogin said that Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, is supportive of Wexler's bill and the heads of several online payment processors are scheduled to testify.
The Congressman has conceded that he does not yet have enough support in Congress to rescind the online gambling ban as it won majorities among both Republicans and Democrats. The ban also upset the European Union as it is home to some online gambling companies that were forced to withdraw from the United States.