Harry Reid Reportedly Behind "Secret" Plan To Pass Online Gambling Legislation This YearPublished on December 3rd, 2010 4:45 am EST
According to Bloomberg.com and the Wall Street Journal (links below), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is reportedly trying to pass an online gambling bill before Congress adjourns at the end of this year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, three Republican lawmakers (Representatives Spencer Bachus, Dave Camp and Lamar Smith) reportedly learned of Reid's plan and fired off a letter to Reid and Mitch McConnell in which they denounced the rumored bill. According to Bloomberg, the three US House Republicans called Reid's efforts a "secretive, closed-door, undemocratic" effort that would involve attaching the bill to a "must-pass" piece of legislation. (sound familiar?) Bachus, Camp and Smith also stated in their letter that "Congress should not take advantage of the young, the weak and the vulnerable in the name of new revenues".
According to the WSJ, "Mr. Reid's office is considering language that would allow only existing casinos, horse tracks and slot-machine makers to operate online poker websites for the first two years after the bill passes, which could limit the ability of other companies to enter the market." The bill would also "outsource oversight to state regulators".
The Wall Street Journal also points out that the "Nevada casino companies behind this measure were among the Democrat's (Reid) biggest donors during his fierce re-election fight". Their investment would certainly yield huge returns if Reid proved successful in his attempt to pass this legislation before the end of the lame-duck session of Congress in a few weeks.
Based on what the Wall Street Journal has reported, this bill, if passed, would be horrible news for sites such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.
This is likely to be the last chance that online gambling legislation has of being signed into law in the United States over the next couple of years, due to the fact that the Republicans will soon regain the majority of the seats in the House of Representatives.
Source: Bloomberg.com - Senate Leadership Accused of Secret Plan to Legalize U.S. Online Gambling
Source: Wall Street Journal - Reid Backs Legalizing Web Poker
Filed Under: Other Poker News