New poker-only web gaming bill hits DC

UPDATE, Monday, 6/2/14: As if any more evidence were needed, the "properties" on the pdf of the bill indicate the author was "dsatz." That would be lead Caesars lobbyist David Satz.



UPDATE, THURSDAY, 3 pm: Despite rumor-floating by some poker newsletters, this is not a Sands bill. It's a silly suggestion as Sheldon Adelson, unlike Harry Reid and Dean Heller, is an aboilitionist. "It is not our bill, nor do we support it," said Sandsman Andy Abboud.

Meanwhile, I have all but confirmed that this comes from Caesars. It was handed out by Haley Barbour, a lobbyist for Caesars and the basic tenets -- poker only -- comport with what the company wants.

No other major company seemed to know about the bill before I posted it.



Here's what's floating around DC -- I smell a Nevada company:


Purpose: To prohibit Internet gambling in order to protect consumers and the public interest. 2
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in 4 Congress assembled, 5
SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the “Internet 6 Gambling Prohibition and Control Act of 2014”. 7
Congress makes the following findings: 9
(1) Illegal Internet gambling results in the proliferation of gambling activity, increases in 10 gambling addiction and other socially undesirable behavior. 11
(2) Subchapter IV of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, which was added by the 12 enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (title VIII of Public 13 Law 109–347; 120 Stat. 1952) (the “UIGEA”), makes it a Federal crime for gambling 14 businesses to knowingly accept most forms of payment in connection with the participation 15 of another person in unlawful Internet gambling. That statute was intended to convey 16 Congress’s clear opposition to Internet gambling by providing help to enforcement efforts 17 against unlawful Internet gambling operators and to limit unlawful Internet gaming 18 involving United States persons. 19
(3) At the time of the UIGEA’s enactment, it was clearly understood that section 1084 of 20 title 18, United States Code (referred to as the “Wire Act”), along with other United States 21 laws such as sections 1952 and 1955 of title 18, United States Code (the “Travel Act” and 22 “Illegal Gambling Business Act”, respectively), prohibited Internet gambling. 23
(4) Notwithstanding that understanding, on December 23, 2011, the Department of 24 Justice released a memorandum opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel dated September 20, 25 2011, that reversed the Department’s longstanding position by construing the Wire Act to 26 apply only to sports-related gambling activities in interstate and foreign commerce. 27
(5) That opinion has led to the further proliferation of gambling offered by offshore 28 operators, as well as state legislation, some enacted, that will permit Internet gambling not 29 only within the respective States but possibly foreign jurisdictions – as well. 30
(6) Although States, under our Federal system, are due substantial deference when it 31 comes to regulation within their borders, the Internet by its nature is an instrumentality of 32 interstate commerce and its regulation appropriately lies within Federal purview. 33
In this title: 35
(1) INDIAN LANDS AND INDIAN TRIBE.—The terms “Indian lands” and “Indian tribe” have 36 the meaning given the terms in section 4 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 37 2703). 38
(2) LICENSED FACILITY.—The term “licensed f 1 acility” means any facility that provides
2 casino gaming to persons located on a riverboat, at a race track, or in another facility,
3 regardless of the number of gaming devices in one physical location, pursuant to a duly
4 authorized license issued by a gaming regulatory authority of a State or Indian tribe.
5 (3) LICENSED FACILITY ACTIVITIES.—The term “licensed facility activities” means bets or
6 wagers offered by a casino gaming facility that –
7 (i) occur between or among players who are located on the premises of one or
8 more casino gaming facilities; and
9 (ii) are lawful in the State or on the Indian lands in or on which each casino
10 gaming facility is located.
11 (4) POKER.-
12 (A) IN GENERAL.—The term “poker” means any of several card games—
13 (i) in which success over the long run is influenced by the skill of the player;
14 (ii) that are commonly referred to as “poker”;
15 (iii) that are played by 2 or more people who wager against each other and not
16 against the “house” or operator; and
17 (iv) in which the person operating the game may assess a commission fee
18 (commonly referred to as a “rake”) or any other type of fee.
19 (B) POKER TOURNAMENTS.—The term “poker” includes poker tournaments in which
20 players pay a fee to play against each other, including tournaments where the licensee
21 guarantees a minimum tournament pot.
22 (5) PRIZE.- Any gift, award, gratuity, good, service, credit or anything else of value
23 which may be awarded to a person based on the outcome of a game, whether or not
24 possession of the prize is actually awarded or placed on an account or other record as
25 evidence of the intent to award the prize. “Prize” shall not include free or additional play or
26 intangible or virtual prizes that cannot be converted into money or merchandise.
27 (6) QUALIFYING INTRASTATE LOTTERY TRANSACTION.—The term “qualifying intrastate
28 lottery transaction” means the purchase of a chance or opportunity to win a lottery or other
29 prize—
30 (A) which opportunity to win is predominantly subject to chance;
31 (B) which winning is determined not more frequently than daily;
32 (C) which is authorized by a State or Indian tribe wholly within its borders;
33 (D) with respect to which the Internet is solely the medium for purchase but is not
34 the medium in which the drawing or the playing of the game or contest is conducted;
35 (E) which requires the delivery (electronically or non-electronically) of a tangible
36 ticket or card for purposes of redemption of any prize; and
37 (F) which is not an online lottery game that is intended to mimic or does
38 substantially mimic a gaming device, slot machine, poker, or any other casino game.
(7) STATE.—The term “State” means each of the several States of the United States, the 1 District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States. 2
18 USC § 1084 is amended by adding at the end, the following: 5
(f) For the purposes of this Act: 6
(1) the term “wire communication” includes the Internet, and any activity which 7 involves the use, at least in part, of the Internet. 8
(2) the term “any sporting event or contest” includes games in material part or 9 predominantly subject to chance which are played for a prize, including games in which players 10 compete against each other, and not against any person, entity, or fellow player hosting the 11 game, the outcome of which, over any significant interval, is predominantly determined by the 12 skill of the players. 13
(3) use of a “wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign 14 commerce of bets or wagers” includes any transmission over the Internet carried interstate, 15 incidentally or otherwise. 16
(4) the term “bets or wagers” does not include – 17
(i) any activities set forth in 31 USC §5362 (1)(E)(i)-(viii); 18
(ii) any activities permitted under 15 U.S.C. §3001 et seq.; 19
(iii) bets or wagers on poker, but only in, between or among States and Indian 20 tribes that have expressly authorized that activity, or among States and 21 Indian tribes that have expressly authorized that activity, including 22 pursuant to Tribal-State or State-State compacts or agreements; 23
(iv) qualifying intrastate lottery transactions; or 24
(v) licensed facility activities. 25
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (31 U.S.C. §5361 et seq.) is amended— 27
(1) in section 5362(1)(E) by adding at the end 28
“(x) bets or wagers on poker that are transmitted using a wire communication as 29 that term is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1084, but only if such bets or wagers occur— 30
(I) in, between, or among States or Indian tribes that have expressly 31 authorized such bets or wagers; or 32
(II) pursuant to compacts or agreements between or among States and 33 Indian tribes that have expressly authorized such bets or wagers. 34
(2) in section 5362 (10)(B) by striking “(B)” and everything after and inserting 35
“(B) Intrastate Transactions.—The term “unlawful internet gambling” does not 36
include placing, receiving, or otherwise transmitting a bet or wager where— 1
(i) the bet or wager is not otherwise prohibited by Federal law and— 2
(I) is initiated and received or otherwise made exclusively within a single 3 State; 4
(II) the method by which the bet or wager is initiated and received or 5 otherwise made is expressly authorized by and placed in accordance 6 with the laws of such State, and the State law or regulations include— 7
(aa) age and location verification requirements reasonably designed to 8 block access to minors and persons located out of such State; and 9
(bb) appropriate date security standards to prevent unauthorized 10 access by any person whose age and current location has not been 11 verified in accordance with such State’s law or regulations; and 12
(ii) the bet or wager does not violate any provision of— 13
(I) the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (15 U.S.C. §3001 et 14 seq.); 15
(II) chapter 178 of title 28 (commonly known as the “Professional 16 and Amateur Sports Protection Act”); 17
(III) the Gambling Devices Transportation Act (15 U.S.C. §1171 et 18 seq.); or 19
(IV) the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. §2701 et seq.). 20