Wednesday July 18 2012 : SENATOR NEEDS REPUBLICAN SUPPORT FOR LEGALISED ONLINE POKER
Confirmation that rumours of a Reid and Kyl initiative are true
Rumours of an online poker legalization deal put together by Nevada Democrat Sen. Harry Reid and Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl have been rife for most of this year, with little in the way of hard evidence emerging, but that changed Tuesday in an article that appeared in the National Journal reporting that the politicians are close to an agreement on gearing up the necessary bi-partisan political support.
The Journal quotes Reid as telling its Tech Daily Dose editor:
“Here’s the issue. Sen. Kyl and I’ve worked very hard. What we need to do is get some Republican support. That hasn’t been forthcoming yet.”
Reid did not say where the deal stands, but a Democratic aide said that Reid wants fellow Nevada senator, Republican Dean Heller and Kyl to sell the online poker legalization concept to the Republican Party.
Kyl has in the past been notorious in the industry for his hard-line opposition to online gambling.
The Journal points to last December's watershed announcement by the US Department of Justice acknowledging that the Wire Act applied only to internet sports betting, opening wide the possibility of individual states selectively legalising online gambling in various forms.
States have since been considering legalization to make online gambling legal on a local basis. Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have all moved to legalise online gambling within state borders, and Reid is reportedly anxious to ensure that his state – and its leading gambling companies – remain preeminent in any legalised online poker environment.
The Journal observes that the political activity has caught the attention of investors, who are putting money into social casino game companies in the hopes that the barriers between online gambling and social casino games will be less defined, and others who see legalised online poker as an attractive and lucrative business proposition.
The only exclusively internet poker legalization bill currently before Congress (at committee stage) is that of Texas Rep. Joe Barton, which has attracted around 30 bi-partisan co-sponsors but has made little progress thus far.