Newest Federal Online Poker Bill Includes Mandatory Tax

blogpostpic5-3Currently there are several Online Poker bills pending before the United States Congress.  There is the bill introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), which is limited to legalizing online poker and contains provisions allowing greater participation from state lotteries.  Another pending bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), also only authorizes online poker, and not other casino games.  Apart from this limitation, Rep. Barton’s bill is otherwise almost identical to the bill Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) introduced last year, which failed to gain any traction in the United States Senate.

New Online Poker Bill

The newest federal online bill was introduced last week by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and is meant to coincide and be adopted alongside Rep. King’s bill.  In essence, Rep. McDermott’s bill, entitled the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2013, proposes that online poker operators pay a mandatory tax of 12 cents on every dollar deposited with their sites by users.  The tax money collected would be shared by the federal government and the state in which the user is playing online poker.  Rep. McDermott’s new online poker bill is not the only one in the pipeline, and it is rumored that Senator Reid is drafting a new version of his failed online poker bill, which may be introduced shortly.

The State Race

The resurgence of interest in online poker legislation is not surprising.  Earlier this year, Nevada and Delaware began accepting online poker wagers and New Jersey is poised to do the same on November 26th, 2013.  These events may be providing federal lawmakers with a renewed sense of urgency to pass some form of federal legislation, rather than let the states create a patchwork of regulation.  It remains to be seen how any prospective federal legislation will interact with state laws that have legalized online poker in DelawareNevada and New Jersey.

The legislative process on the federal level, and the potential impact on applicable state laws, will be worth keeping an eye on for gambling attorneys and those interested in Internet poker law in general. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please e-mail us at or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

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David Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes, and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.

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