Abboud started his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee of Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade by publicly pulling out his mobile phone and declaiming that the Barton Bill would turn every mobile device into a casino--apparently this would be a bad thing.
Subsequent questioning by the Committee presented the fact that the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas has prominent advertising for gambling on smartphones, pointing out the convenience of being able to do so “from the comfort of your own room.”
Although it doesn’t allow online poker, the Venetian app does allow sports betting “anywhere in the state of Nevada.”
Abboud’s blusteringly answered that the app couldn’t be used without a deposit at the casino cashier where clients could be checked against self-exclusion lists--which can be done faster and automatically online--or for drunkenness--which can be achieved by any determined gambler within a few minutes of returning to the “comfort of his own room.”
Joe Barton pointed out that what the Venetian currently advertised was a whole lot less than his own bill proposed. HR2666 would only apply to online poker, which as Barton pointed out, “is a game of skill.” He said, “I don’t know any professional roulette players … but I know lots of professional poker players, and if this Committee was a final table…I’d have a pretty good idea of who would win.”
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