Saturday August 10,2013 : HAS ADELSON REALLY HAD AN EPIPHANY ON INTERNET POKER?
Rumours fly on new online poker only legalization effort by Harry Reid
The rumour mill ignited over the weekend with tweets from Brett Collson, managing editor of PokerNews, quoting a "high ranking" but unidentified gaming source as confirming that Sen. Harry Reid is about to launch a federal online-poker only bill , astonishingly supported by Las Vegas Sands land gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson.
Adelson – a staunch Republican – has hitherto been a vehement and very public antagonist on any legalization of online gambling whatsoever.
Collson further claimed, without attribution, that New Jersey governor Chris Christie is supportive of the Adelson-Reid initiative, which is reportedly contingent on the two online poker bills in the Californian legislature failing – presumably because the proponents of a federal legalization solution fear the competitive might of California's 38 million-strong population in an intrastate scenario.
Adelson is reportedly wielding his considerable financial power and influence in hiring professionals to ensure that the Californian initiatives fail, and mustering Republican support in the House.
InfoPowa emphasises that the information in this news report is unsubstantiated by official comment from the parties involved, and is currently the stuff of rumour, but in essence the plan is allegedly:
- Kill the Californian intrastate legalization drive.
- Push a federal legalization bill through Congress, launching it from the Senate – Reid allegedly has sufficient backing to do this.
- Strengthen the Wire Act to ban all online gambling except online poker, controlled from Nevada and New Jersey.
- Make sure the federal solution is in respect of poker only, and keep Nevada and New Jersey on-side by centring the federal regulatory body on those two already established online gambling states.
- To placate individual states and tribal gambling groups, the federal solution would respect their rights and empower them to opt out of legalization, or opt in and issue licenses.
How Californian lawmakers will view a plot to politically favour New Jersey and Nevada at their expense is not known, but should be interesting.