12/15/2012 : REID-KYL ONLINE POKER BILL IS DEAD FOR THIS YEAR
Author Sen. Reid concedes federal legalization proposal will not make it this year
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada conceded Friday that his proposal for the federal legalization of online poker, co-authored with Sen. Jon Kyl, will not make it through the current session of Congress.
A disappointed Reid admitted his initiative had run out of time in the ‘lame duck' session of Congress, but said that he would take another run at the issue next year in what will be his third attempt at online poker legalization.
"I am disappointed," Reid said, adding that he remained committed to federal legalization, and asserting that it would be a priority for him next year.
Earlier this year Reid was critical of the lack of interest in his bill showed by Republicans, despite the fact that arch online gambling foe Kyl was a co-author, and that the bill specifically makes illegal most other forms of online gambling.
It was the latter component that aroused the opposition of many state governors, tribal groups and lotteries, which have plans for revenue-raising internet gambling initiatives at state level following the Department of Justice's admission last December that the Wire Act covers only sports betting activities.
Despite the strong support of the American Gaming Association and the major land casino companies in Nevada, Reid may find that individual states are one step ahead of him on intrastate legalization next year – around 12 states are considering online activity in various forms already, and Nevada is well advanced with a state-based online poker licensing and regulatory regime.
Reid staffer David Krone claimed that the gaming industry did not do enough to defend the Reid-Kyl proposal as opposition mounted against it, a claim that spokesmen from several major operators quickly denied.
In early reactions, some spokesmen opined that their companies would now look to individual states legalising online poker, such as Nevada. There are also on-going efforts on the wider online gambling front, especially in states like New Jersey and Delaware.
AGA chief Frank Fahrenkopf, who has been particularly energetic in promoting the Reid-Kyl bill recently, said that he respected Senator Reid's judgement and hoped the issue would be launched again next year.