11/29/2012 : STATE LOTTERIES DIRECTORS TO LOBBY AGAINST REID-KYL POKER BILL
Another blow for federal attempt at legalization
The proposed Reid-Kyl federal online poker legalization bill faced another bump on the road through the lame duck session of the US Congress this week with news that as many as six state lotteries plan to send directors to Washington DC to lobby against it.
The bill, which also seeks to specifically ban other forms of online gambling, has already attracted a substantial amount of business, political and advocacy flak, with main driver Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada admitting earlier this week that much-needed bipartisan support from the Republicans is scant.
Media reports indicate that lottery directors from Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Washington state, Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire and possibly others will visit Washington DC, led by the executive director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, David Gale.
Individual states are reportedly alarmed at what they see as an invasion of individual states' rights and the possibility that the proposed federal bill could interfere with states' plans for online expansion of lottery operations.
Speaking to the respected Las Vegas Review-Journal this week, Gale said that the goal of the visit was to convey the important message to Congress that gambling legalization is a state right and falls under the authority of state lawmakers.
A Reid spokesperson acknowledged that the proposed bill has drawn criticism from state officials, legislators and governors, but pointed out that despite the limited 3-week window of opportunity still available in the current Congressional session, it was still in draft form, and that Senator Reid continues to engage with opponents to address their concerns.