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California Republican Congressman John Campbell has introduced a new piece of legislation which bears striking similarities to last year’s failed challenge to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

Congressmen Peter King, Ed Perlmutter, and noted gaming enthusiast Barney Frank have all signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, which puts forward several plans for the legalization of poker within the United States. Included therein are provisions which would dole out licenses to online gambling companies, while simultaneously expanding consumer protection for the players themselves.

“I commend Representative Campbell and Ranking Member Frank for their leadership to protect players’ rights while implementing important consumer safeguards,” said Poker Players Alliance Chairman (and former Senator) Alfonse D’Amato.

“We look forward to supporting this vital legislation as it moves through the legislative process.

“The great American game of poker has long been ingrained in our country’s proud history and, as with so many other facets of life, has migrated in the technological age to an online format.”

This new piece of poker law would also provide sizable tax rewards to the federal and state governments, which should make the legalization process easier for the establishment to swallow.

“Given that millions of Americans currently play online poker,” continues D’Amato, “states across the country are recognizing the value in licensing and regulating the game and many are introducing their own laws to allow for residents to play in a safe, regulated market while collecting millions in tax revenues.

“However, instead of a patchwork of state laws limiting the pool of players against whom residents can play and serving to only protect the Americans in those states, the time is now for Congress to step up and pass Federal legislation, like the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, that allows the entire country to benefit.”

So, after 2010’s near miss in the legalization department, poker enthusiasts are hopeful that 2011 will bring better tidings to the online tables. With an early start, there is plenty of reason to hope.