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Reid Online Poker Bill May Be Attached to Must-Pass Legislation

Dec 11, 2010
Author: Steven Lock
Reid Online Poker Bill May Be Attached to Must-Pass Legislation

With all eyes in the online poker world focused on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nevada) proposed bill to legalize and regulate online poker on the federal level, it seems that attaching the proposal as an amendment to the tax-cut compromise bill is no longer an option for passing the legislation.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Reid decided not to attach the online poker proposal to the tax bill after several Republican lawmakers voiced their opposition to such a move. It seemed increasingly likely that doing so would threaten the passage of the tax bill, a risk Reid was not willing to take.

However, that does not mean that the online poker bill is dead. In fact, Reid seems committed to finding another bill to attach the legislation to during the amendment process.

Reid’s newest tactic seems aimed at attaching the online poker bill to a “must-pass” piece of legislation, one that is required for the government to continue functioning. Doing so would make the online poker legislation much more likely to pass, as few – if any – lawmakers would be willing to jeopardize critical legislation just to stop the regulation of online poker.

According to Reid, regulating online poker is a natural move that would allow millions of Americans to continue playing a game of skill online, without the worries that come with gambling overseas.

“Experienced regulators already trusted by millions of Americans will maintain oversight and reputable operators with proven track records will provide a secure gaming environment for Americans,” Reid said.

Several Republicans have objected to the proposal, or at least the method by which Reid originally attempted to move it through the Senate. A letter by Representatives Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), Dave Camp (R-Michigan) and Lamar Smith (R-Tennessee) objected to passing controversial legislation through “back-room deals.”

Online poker players have had mixed reactions to the legislation as well. While most welcome the regulation of poker in the USA, certain provisions have been met with concern. Perhaps the most frightening for many players is the reported 15-month blackout period in which no poker rooms would be licensed in the United States, which would likely force any large poker site that wanted to earn a license to withdraw support for American players during that time.

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