Passage of Federal Online Gaming Bill Unlikely in 2012

Published on September 9th, 2012 12:34 am EST

The Capitol Hill - Washington D.C. - Morning ShotAccording to Fitch Ratings Service (via, HT to, passage of a federal online gaming bill is not going to take place this year.

In a recent report on online gaming, Fitch said that "political gridlock in Washington and retirement of key proponents of online gaming" will result in the "discussion" of a federal online gaming bill being pushed back into 2013.

Having said that, Fitch believes that a federal bill will eventually be signed into law.

The 2012 US Presidential election is less than two months away, with the Republicans and Democrats just recently wrapping up their national conventions.

After the election, the Democrats and Republicans will have to hammer out a deal to avoid the pending "fiscal cliff". The two sides have to figure out what to do about the expiration of the "Bush tax cuts" and other tax provisions, as well as the pending automatic spending cuts. On top of that, a deal regarding the raising of the debt ceiling will also have to be reached. These issues will need to be dealt with shortly after the election in November, so there won't be much time (or energy) to deal with an issue like a federal online gaming bill.

The Republicans recently revealed in their official 2012 platform that they "support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for the reversal of the Justice Department's decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting."

The Democrats, on the other hand, made no mention of online gaming in their official platform.


The push for a federal online gaming bill is also going to take a hit due to the impending retirement of Jon Kyl. Kyl and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid had been working on the terms of a federal online gaming bill, so the federal legislation movement will take a hit with Kyl's retirement from the Senate.

In short - we are likely at least a year from any federal bill being signed into law.

Source: - Fitch Ratings: Federal approval of Internet poker won't happen until next year



Filed Under: Poker Legal Issues

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