12/10/2012 : NO ‘FISCAL CLIFF' DEALS ON REID-KYL ONLINE POKER BILL
Congressman briefs National Indian Gaming Association
Any hopes that Nevada Senator Harry Reid may have had for attaching his federal online poker legalization bill to urgent fiscal cliff legalization in the quickly expiring lame duck session of the current Congress, were dashed at the weekend when the Republican Congressman for Oklahoma, Tom Cole, addressed the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA).
Cole assured delegates that attaching an exclusively internet poker proposal such as the Reid-Kyl bill to any fiscal cliff legalization was out of the question.
"On the Republican side so far – talking to our speaker and our leaders – there is not going to be a gaming law in the final deal," Cole revealed. "They’re not including Internet gaming. They have been crystal clear about that in private."
Industry observers have opined for some weeks now that must-pass fiscal cliff legalization may be the vehicle that Senators Reid and Kyl use to attach their unrelated internet poker legalization bill, which specifically excludes other forms of internet gambling.
In similar fashion to the UIGEA, which was attached to the unrelated Safe Ports Act in 2006, the Reid-Kyl bill might seek to ride through on the coat tails of the fiscal legalization in the dying days of the current Congress.
Cole urged NIGA delegates to remain fully mobilised and on guard against the Reid-Kyl bill.
"We need to make sure the biggest engine for economic development in Indian Country is protected," he said.
Another Republican politician, Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, raised the oft-made suggestion that the Reid-Kyl bill favoured the state of Nevada, telling NIGA delegates that if he were a cynic, he would think that the proposed federal bill had been written by "some folks" out of Las Vegas.