Friday June 7,2013 : ONLINE GAMBLING LEGALISATION AND THE BLAME GAME
Who was responsible for the failure of previous legalization attempts?
An interview in the publication Gambling Compliance set the cat among the pigeons in the United States Thursday after the outgoing CEO of the American Gaming Association, Frank Fahrenkopf, criticised Nevada Senator Harry Reid and the now retired Republican Senator Jon Kyl for not driving previous online poker legalization attempts through Congress with sufficient vigour.
Fahrenkopf said the failure of last year's federal attempt to legalise online poker in the United States had been the biggest disappointment of his 18-year career with the Association.
“If I had to blame anybody – I mean I’m sure they did their best – but that’s where the failure is. Blame is not probably the right way to put it, but there was a failure because nothing was introduced,” Fahrenkopf told the publication.
Fahrenkopf said the gaming industry and other lobbyists “…looked to Sen. Kyl and Sen. Reid as to how we would proceed,” and claimed that the Association had worked hard to promote the federal approach, only to see nothing launched "that we could go out and try to sell.”
Sen. Reid's staff reacted to the criticism by stressing that the Senator “…has been totally committed to this effort from day one.”
But spokesperson Karin Orthman took a harder line later, claiming that Fahrenkopf was more interested in his role as co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates in 2012 than seeing an online gaming bill get through Congress, and describing his version of the failure of the Reid-Kyl online poker bill as “revisionist history.”
“Perhaps if Mr. Fahrenkopf had spent less time dealing with the presidential debates and more time actually doing his job as head of the gaming association we could have passed the bill,” she said.