Harry Reid and Online Poker in 2012
Posted by: James Carter - Sun, 2012-01-22 12:43
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has popped up as possibly one of legal online poker’s biggest supporters in 2011. He hadn’t talked a lot about the subject before his move to push through a bill, nor has he become known as one of the vocal supporters of the cause after. Unlike Congressmen Barney Frank and Joe Barton who have always been open about their support for legal and regulated online poker
, Reid hasn’t given any interviews on the matter, until the other day that is when he shared a few thoughts with one of the online gambling portals. The interview was obviously centered around the latest positive news regarding the online poker cause: the DoJ’s recent backtracking on the provisions of the Wire Act and their applicability to inter-state online gambling.
According to Reid, the DoJ’s move is a significant one indeed, in the sense that it will give lawmakers an incentive to finally make a move in the matter.
As a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, Reid opined that having a series of laws around the country regulating an activity like online poker wasn’t at all practical and the necessity of a federal-level bill on the matter was obvious.
Based on his comments, it’s safe to conclude that Reid (and probably other lawmakers too) has recognized the fact that 2012 may present the last opportunity for the Federal Government to pass a nation-wide law in regards to online gaming, otherwise the states will just move forward with laws of their own, without any Federal involvement.
It’s no secret that groups like the PPA (Poker Players’ Alliance) that have long pushed for legal online poker, prefer federal regulation instead of a local one. According to John Pappas of the PPA, it will definitely help the business side of the online poker industry to legalize online poker under a federal framework.
In quite possibly the most important announcement of the year (from the point of view of the online poker industry that is) Reid also broke the news that he was negotiating with Sen. John Kyl in regards to a federal online poker bill.