Barton firm on online poker

Joe Barton pushed for a true college football national championship game and got it.

Now he wants to make online poker legal. Sooner or later, he may get it.

Barton argues that poker is a game of skill that deserves freedom and fair government regulation, not exile to the lawless world of offshore gaming.

He likes poker, and he plays in private games and in casino poker rooms.

His plan includes safeguards against an expensive regulatory bureaucracy (licensees fund the effort), credit card abuse and underage players.

There are strong opponents in Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a presidential candidate, has filed a bill to restore a full ban on all online gaming, just in case anything was left unclear after a 2011 Justice Department ruling against online sports gambling.

Barton predicts online poker will be legal someday. He’s persistent.