If you haven't been following the thread under Internet Poker about pokerstars in Italy, you should:
This is a perfect example of the dangers of federal licensing and regulation of internet gambling (and poker). If we don't get the changes to the Barney Frank bill that we want, we run the very high risk that we will lose access to our beloved sites: FPT and PS. Certainly with the state opt-out as currently written in place, at a minimum many states may become blocked on those sites.
As things are right now, FTP and PS can rightfully claim that they are not violating any U.S. laws. But if we have a new law that says that only sites that are licensed and regulated by the US. government can offer internet gambling (and poker) to U.S. citizens, and only in states that don't opt out, then suddenly FTP and PS are clearly violating a U.S. law unless they comply.
Plus, as the bill is currently written, there is nothing that guarantees that PS and FTP will get a U.S. license. The bill specifies that anyone applying for a license that has a criminal background will be denied a license. The DOJ can simply take the stance that having operated a site before licensing was a violation of law (whether or not this is true), and thereby deny licensing to any current foreign-based sites. There needs to be an amnesty clause in the bill, i.e. having a site pre-Frank bill is not grounds for a denial of a license.
I am not against Federal licensing and regulation, but I am against a bill that severly limits our choices. The bill must include:
1. Strict rules for state opt-outs, i.e. the state must demonstrate that their state laws do not allow the same gaming anywhere within their borders (including tribal lands).
2. Amnesty for current sites in terms of gaining a license.
3. No federal wagering limits.
4. The player base of a licensed site is not restricted to U.S. players only.
(I would also like to see it include provisions for recriprocal licensing of sites with foreign licensing authorities.)