Friday, November 18, 2011 : IS THIS THE ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION BILL THE A.G.A. WILL SUPPORT?
More rumours that Kyl and Reid are assembling a legalization measure
The persistent rumours that the unlikely team of Sens. Harry Reid and Jon Kyl are working on an internet poker legalization measure received a boost Thursday when the New York Post reported on the possibility.
Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and the Senate Majority Leader, was thwarted in a move to get a bill through in the lame duck session of Congress last year, whilst Kyl is a Republican whose name has become synonymous with opposition to online gambling, but whose approach has reportedly "softened" in more recent times.
The last time the two combined their efforts was earlier this year, when they wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that he continue the war against offshore companies offering online gaming – including online poker – and clarify the US Department of Justice’s position on intrastate online gaming.
Adding intrigue to the debate, the powerful American Gaming Association appears to favour the federal legalization of online poker, but has declined to support Rep. Joe Barton's federal measure currently in Congress, saying that it would support a bill to be introduced soon.
With the persistent rumours of a Kyl-Reid authorship alliance, there is speculation that this might be the bill the AGA is waiting for.
The New York Post quotes sources close to the political action as saying that a bill will be introduced before the end of the current session, with a good chance of being approved, thanks to the support of land industry heavyweights with their eyes on another revenue stream, and politicians with plans for tax income.
The newspaper was told that Kyl may co-sponsor the bill, although this has not been confirmed by the Senator, whose staff did not return the newspaper's calls.
"Time is of the essence," the newspaper asserts. "Sources believe Congress will not pass such a controversial bill during the 2012 presidential election year, and the following year may not be opportune as poker advocate Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may no longer be Senate Majority Leader."