S 3616 the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act of 2008

All -- I am pleased to announce that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez has introduced S. 3616, the capacity Game Licensing and Control Act of 2008. While the bill was actually introduced last Friday, the PPA has held off on announcing its intro publically until now. Given the media climate and the focus (rightly so) on the economy and the choice, this bill might not get the emphasis it deserves. Additionally this little thing in Kentucky has the emphasis of the gaming trades. I hope the 2+2 posters will help spread the word.

The PPA will be issuing its press release (pasted below) tomorrow and also a e-newsletter to our 1 mlln. plus members. So you night owls and early birds get a sneak peek at the bill before the masses.

To make sure, the PPA doesn't think that this bill will pass both houses and be signed into law this year. It is though, a brilliant marker for the following Congress and the new Administration. It is additionally the first time the Senate has acted on our issue.

S. 3616 is a bill that a poker player can love. Unlike Mr. Frank's H.R. 2046, this bill is reduced to games of capacity (multiplayer, non-house banked games) ... it is a true poker bill.

The bill is the product of a lot of hard job from the PPA and our lobbying team. It is additionally driven by the need of Sen. Menendez to provide regulatory oversight of the industry and meaningful buyer safeguards that will help mitigate scam and abuse, prevent under-age access and provide services to trouble gamblers.

Given the recent scandals that have shook the confidence of the online poker community, the timing of this bill couldn't be better.
We look forward to improving upon this bill and advancing this issue in the U.S. Senate. I hope we can count on broad support and activism from the poker community.

John A. Pappas
Executive Director
Poker Players Alliance
PPA Applauds intro of S. 3616

Bill Establishes Licensing, Regulation of Internet Poker
WASHINGTON, DC. (October 1, 2008) –The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the principal poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one mlln. members nation-wide, today commended Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for introducing S. 3616, the Internet capacity Game Licensing and Control Act. The legislation establishes the necessary licensing and regulatory perspective for the U.S. to exercise adequate control and oversight through Internet poker and other games of capacity.

“This action by Senator Menendez is still another example that prohibitions on Internet gambling, and particularly poker, won't work to safe-guard consumers,” told PPA Chairman and Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato. “The PPA has long advocated for thoughtful and efficient licensing and regulation of online poker as a signifies to safe-guard vulnerable communities, such as children and compulsive gamblers, and provide adequate controls to thwart buyer fraud and abuse. Senator Menendez legislation is the right vehicle to accomplish those goals.”

Until now legislative action in this field has been reduced to the U.S. House of Representatives with Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), sponsor of H.R. 2046, and Representative Robert Wexler (D-FL), sponsor of H.R. 2610, principal the fee for certified and regulated poker. Senator Menendez’s bill is an exciting new development and a welcome legislative proposition of which mllns. of American poker players may be proud.

The intro of S. 3616 goes after a recent bipartisan victory in the House Financial Services Committee where legislation, H.R. 6870, was passed requiring clarification of the vague definition of “unlawful Internet gambling” contained in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Industry and regulators, this includes the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury, testified to the unworkable nature of UIGEA as passed and the burden it places on the previously troubled banking industry. S 3616 would provide even more clarity to the murky UIGEA and would relieve the banking industry from the ill-advised and expensive burden of attempting to police private behavior at this critical economic moment in our nation’s history.

Key provisions of the bill include:
Thorough vetting of potential licensees;
Mandatory implementation of technologies to safe-guard against underage gambling and to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits;
High standards to thwart scam and abuse of customers;
Regulation to prevent cash laundering;
Processes to prevent tax avoidance.
“On behalf of the members of the PPA and online poker players nation-wide, I may want to thank Senator Menendez on his leadership on this essential issue. We look forward to working with him and his Senate colleagues to enact this sound public policy,” told D’Amato.
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