Legalize Online Poker? Texas Congressman Says Yes

U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-Oil), the man who famously apologized to BP for the horrible way they were shaken down by the Obama administration after the Gulf oil spill, is introducing a bill to legalize online poker, the AP reports.


Barton wants individual states to allow online poker if they choose to do so, with companies getting licenses and, one presumes, paying taxes.

The legal status of online poker is not exactly clear these days -- people play via offshore companies, but the feds have made several high-profile arrests of operators.

Barton will hold a news conference today, and he told AP that he thinks the legalization effort will succeed this time despite past failures.

"This may be the year that the stars align -- I hope so," Barton said. The arrests, the seeming legal limbo and the chance for governments to get revenue might change a few minds, he thinks.

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