10/12/2012 : NEVADA REPUBLICAN STILL PREPARED WORK ON ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION (Update)
Heller says he is prepared to continue the fight for federally legalised online poker after the elections
Despite the rancour generated last month between Nevada politicians Dean Heller and Harry Reid over the lack of progress of the latter's online poker legalization initiative , Heller still appears to view a post-election legalization drive as possible, and says he is prepared to work with Reid on it.
During an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week Heller told the publication that federal legalization could benefit the Nevada gambling industry, and reiterated that he continues to support the concept.
The consensus in the industry is that the lame duck session after the presidential election and just before the Congressional session ends is now the best bet for Reid, who has tasked Heller with drumming up more Republican support for the initiative.
Heller sounded a conciliatory note, telling the LVRJ:
"I have no doubt when this race is over, Senator Reid and I will sit down and say, ‘Okay, we got this behind us now, let's work together and get this done.
"And I have no doubt that it needs to get done by the end of the year. And I fully support working with Senator Reid in making that happen."
"No doubt, we're wearing different uniforms and we will be for the next 26 days. But I have no doubt, no doubt, we get past this election and Senator Reid and I are going to sit down and put the past behind us. Nevada can't afford anything different."
The Journal reports that the federal government would not levy taxes on licensed operators under the Reid proposal, which he co-authored with Republican Senator Jon Kyl.
Instead the Reid-Kyl bill suggests imposing a 16 percent "online poker activity fee" from which the federal government would keep 2 percent for administration costs, distributing the remainder to individual states and tribal gaming.
The bill would specifically exclude and make illegal other forms of internet gambling not already exempted from federal law. Such as fantasy sports, states lotteries and horseracing.
A spokesperson for Senator Reid remained uncompromising, saying in a statement to the Journal:
"We've been waiting for months for Senator Heller to provide Republican votes to pass an online poker bill but that support never surfaced.
"Last we heard he wanted the House to move first on a bill so this change of heart is surprising. Senator Reid has always recognized that this bill is critically important for Nevada's economy and he will continue to fight for bipartisan support to pass this bill."
Heller is currently fighting for his Congressional position against Democrat challenger and veteran online gambling supporter Shelley Berkely