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U.S. DEFICIT SUPERCOMMITTEE STILL A CHANCE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Thursday, October 13, 2011 : Optimism for some, the converse for others
The notion that US online gambling - or at least internet poker - could be legalised by working through the Obama Administration's influential deficit reduction super-committee has been batted about remorselessly by the media in recent weeks, with optimism and pessimism in equal measure, and Sen. Jon Kyl frequently quoted as either opposed to the idea or "softening" towards it.
This week the Washington DC publication Politico took an objective look at the current situation, with an interesting peek into some the backroom action in Congress.
The report claims that Texas Republican Joe Barton, who has a legalising measure on the table, and veteran Massachusetts Democrat, Barney Frank are "...talking up members of the powerful deficit-slashing committee, arguing that virtual betting could boost tax revenue and even create jobs."
And, the article claims, the duo are not alone, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid still interested, and Sen. Kyl - notoriously against online gambling and a member of the supercommittee - apparently "softening."
Rep. Barton told Politico that he has been talking about his proposal with another member of the supercommittee, Republican Rep. Fred Upton from Michigan, and says that he, Frank and others are trying to persuade the supercommittee that the $42 billion in tax revenues that legalised online gambling would generate make it a logical option to aid in deficit reduction planning.
But, Barton cautions, the backing of Kyl and Reid will be necessary. “A lot depends on Reid and Kyl. There’s a lot of discussion involved on it,” he told Politico.
On past record, the prospects do not appear strong; Kyl was instrumental in killing off Reid’s online poker proposal last year although Internet poker advocates say he may now be more amenable, but will probably argue for severe regulatory demands.
The two Senators have previously worked together as recently as July this year, when they jointly appealed to Attorney General Eric Holder to be more aggressive in stamping out 'illegal online gambling', but Politico says the incident also demonstrates that the duo are still talking about legalisation.
Kyl declined to comment on whether online gaming would be included in a final supercommittee package as recently as last month, and spokesmen for both politicians have not returned Politico calls this week asking for comment, something that can be interpreted in a number of ways.
Politico says that the 1.2 million members Poker Players Alliance has been active in lobbying the supercommittee and mobilising its considerable membership, urging them to express their opinions to political representatives.
Alliance director John Pappas said that his organisation has made strong contact, sending nearly 7,000 emails through the PPA system to members of the supercommittee.
Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) have been sent the most, getting 1,632 and 1,607 emails, respectively.
The PPA has also met with nearly all of the panel’s members or their staff, selling legalisation of internet poker as a means to create US jobs, generate revenue and ensure strong consumer protections.
The Alliance has an ongoing information and interaction program through its membership, and is currently involved in promoting a petition under a White House communication initiative called "We The People".
The PPA has spent $800 000 lobbying Congress in the first half of 2011.
“We’d be happy to see this go in any form in any bill before the end of the year," Pappas told Politico. "Certainly, the debt committee seems like a natural fit. It should be appealing to Republicans on the committee.”
American Gaming Association chief Frank Fahrenkopf told the publication that his organisation was focused on its own legislative proposal and is not pushing for deficit reduction supercommittee involvement at present.
“We’re hoping that another piece of legislation will be introduced to legalize online poker,” Fahrenkopf said. He declined to identify which members of Congress AGA is working with on the legislation.
The newly formed Fair Play USA action group does not appear to be pressing for the supercommittee to get involved, either, instead hoping that Congress will address the issue. Started by MGM and Caesars, the organisation is focused on law enforcement officials at this point, according to its executive director, Marisa McNee.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
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