Fahrenkopf: Federal Online Poker Bill to be Introduced in House Soon

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Outgoing AGA head Frank Fahrenkopf expects a federal bill to regulate online poker to be introduced in the U.S. House “soon” – possibly within the next few weeks.

Fahrenkopf made the comments on the February 19th episode of Ralston Reports.

In response to Ralston’s question of whether we’re “ever going to see” a federal bill, Fahrenkopf said:

Fahrenkopf: “I’ve been doing a lot of talking on the Hill the last couple of weeks. And I think that we may see one quite soon, in the House.”

Ralston: “Really?”

Fahrenkopf: “Yeah, there may be one introduced in the House. I mean, Senator Reid has said on a number of occasions that he views it […] like threading a needle because of so many things on the agenda in Washington that the poker bill I think pales in significance to them. But there’s still an effort in the House. Plus I think the activity of a number of states, particularly Delaware, where […] they have authorized all forms of casino games through their state lottery and they’re hoping to go on board by September 30th of this year.”

Fahrenkopf: “I think there are some members of Congress that are normally anti-gaming who view a poker as the lesser of a lot of evils. So I’m still hopeful we can get something done.”

In response to a followup question from Ralston, Fahrenkopf said he was “hopeful” a bill would be introduced in the next few weeks, “maybe” by Joe Barton.

Fahrenkopf also characterized Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as someone who “created problems for us along the way,” although it’s unclear if he was referring specifically to the lame duck or simply Kyl’s past opposition to online gambling.

Fahrenkopf laid blame for failure to pass a lame duck online poker bill on “the election” and was critical of the decision to not formally introduce a bill, but also said he would never “second-guess” Reid or Kyl.

Link to whole episode here (also embedded below). Poker discussion at about 5 minutes in (18:40 remaining by timer on video).

- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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