Update: No Online Poker Legalization Proposal from AGA

Spokesperson raises contradiction to chief exec's statement in Madrid

After CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), Frank Fahrenkopf made a statement at a recent conference in Madrid that the AGA would be introducing its own federal online poker legalization measure in autumn 2011, a contradictory statement came from a spokesman for the trade body who said this week that AGA has no plans to introduce such a bill.

Namely, it has been specified by AGA communications chief Holly Wetzel that reports on the matter needed to be corrected: "First the AGA is not actively opposing the (Joe) Barton bill. We have been neutral on all introduced legislation related to online poker, and the same is true of the Barton bill. We believe it's a step in the right direction.

"More importantly, the AGA does not have its own bill and does not have plans to introduce its own bill. If a bill is introduced that meets our board's approval, certainly we will consider supporting it. But we are not drafting our own bill."

However, the Association issued a statement on the Barton bill on June 24, saying:

"The American Gaming Association supports the licensing and regulation of online poker in the U.S.

"Although the AGA has not endorsed any specific legislation on this issue, we are pleased that Rep. Barton wants to protect American consumers and understands the need for regulating online poker in our country.

"The millions of Americans who are playing poker online deserve to know they are playing safely with law-abiding operators, but strong enforcement of illegal operators and unambiguous U.S. laws governing online gambling are equally vital. We look forward to continuing to work toward a solution that will meet these two goals and keep the jobs and revenues associated with this billion-dollar industry in the United States."

According to Wetzel, Fahrenkopf's comments were misinterpreted.

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