posted 12/17/10 : ESPN claims sources pessimistic regarding legalization bill's survival
This may be the season for giving, but it does not appear from the respected publication ESPN that the legalization of US online poker will be among the gifts below the online gambling industry Christmas tree.
The usually knowledgable and well connected ESPN writer Andrew Feldman reported late Wednesday that Senator Harry Reid's proposal to legalise online gambling in the United States is dead in the water and will not pass Congress's lame duck session as the legislature closes for the year.
Feldman quoted unnamed but reliable sources who were adamant that the Reid bill, despite some heavyweight support from major land gambling groups and the American Gaming Association would not pass this year, either as a standalone bill or attached to the coattails of other ‘must-pass' legalization.
His story was apparently confirmed by Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas, who told Feldman: “We are disappointed that Congress failed to act and provide the necessary consumer protections and sensible oversight over this multi-billion (and growing) industry. Sadly, some politicians remain with their heads firmly in the sand.”
Senator Reid's proposal burst rather belatedly on the scene late November, scoring big mainstream media headlines and generating a host of conflicting opinions – many of them influential – on its desirability or otherwise.
Nothing further has been heard on Congressman Barney Frank's HR2267, the other federal attempt to legalise online gambling which has passed committee but not made it to the floor; it must therefore be assumed that this, too has failed in the present session of Congress…and with a Republican House of Assembly next year the chances do not look good for any resurrections.
Online gamblers in the US will now be hoping that the diverse individual state initiatives in California, New Jersey and Florida will be more successful, albeit confined to intra-state action.