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PokerStars Endorses Online Poker Regulations In The US

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Two major thought processes emerged from the markup of Representative Barney Frank's online gambling bill on Wednesday. The first was that major Las Vegas casino operators and existing online gambling operators did not support the legislation. The second was existing sites that were thought to be in violation of US laws would be unable to secure a license in the future.

PokerStars was one of the sites mentioned in regards to losing the right to gain a US license if the regulation bill is passed. They also were one of the sites that was believed to be against any form of regulation in the US market.

On Thursday, PokerStars disputed both of those claims. The operators of the online poker site applauded the efforts of Rep. Frank, and asserted their belief that they have been in full compliance with US laws.

"PokerStars maintains its strong support for H.R. 2267 and encourages the full House and ultimately the Senate to move quickly to secure passage during current Congressional term," said Paul Telford, General Counsel for PokerStars. "PokerStars, a pioneer in operating online poker under stringent regulatory frameworks, looks forward to working with incumbent and new operators in promoting a safe and healthy online poker industry in the United States, as it currently does under similar licensing models in Italy and France."

The latter two countries had both received similar warnings from the European Union regarding their online gambling prohibition. Italy and France have moved in the direction of regulation, and with the House Finance Committee passing Rep. Frank's legislation, the US has now began that process as well.

Rep. Spencer Bacchus has been the strongest opponent of online gambling regulations, and he proposed an amendment to Frank's bill that forbid any sites that were in violation of US Internet gaming laws from receiving a license under the new structure. Chairman Frank agreed with the amendment.

The question that will arise should the legislation be passed in the full House, would be which current operators were in violation. It will take actual proof to keep sites from applying, and PokerStars attorneys have assured the company that they are not in violation.

Even if PokerStars is cleared to apply, it is likely that as the bill progresses, the opportunity to gain a license will be given to trusted US gaming company's. Harrah's Entertainment looks as if they will be the most prepared to handle the move to online gambling.

Harrah's has already launched several different online casinos based in the UK. The Caesars name is attached to a couple of the sites, and name recognition has already helped Harrah's establish themselves in the online gaming market.

The US is hoping to be under no pressure from the World Trade Organization to license any company's without a corporate presence in the country. The US has requested that they be exempt from the WTO in regards to online gambling practices, and it is expected that request will be granted.

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