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While the rest of Washington, D.C. is occupied with the coming presidential election, those in the political know believe that the time for online poker legislation may be drawing nearer. This fresh wave of optimism comes courtesy of Republican Congressman John Campbell, who recently provided testimony on the matter to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. In an interview with iGaming Business, the U.S. Representative for California’s 48th congressional district firmly stated his belief in the potential for rapid legalization.

“The regulation of gambling is important for four reasons,” he said. “One, freedom of choice for Americans; two, tax revenue; three, consumer protection and four, job creation.”

As even the most cursory political observer can attest, these four issues will play a key part in the 2012 Presidential race. And while partisan voting will surely limit the number of laws passed within this time, hope remains for the millions of former clients of Full Tilt, PokerStars, and others. Campbell’s optimism, he says, stems mainly from the receptiveness of his congressional audience.

“I think the testimonies were received well,” he said, “and the fact that the hearing took place shows that Congress is interested in this bill (Congressman Joe Barton’s HR2366) and that there is momentum for this issue.”