Can Harry Reid Defy The Odds and Pass His Online Poker Bill?

Published on December 13th, 2010 5:00 am EST

Capitol Hill on a sunny winter day - Snowman in frontWith Congress expected to adjourn by the end of the week, online poker players in the United States should know by Friday at the latest whether or not they will be able to play online next year.

While the general consensus is that Reid's attempt to slide through his online poker legislation will fail, there is still an opportunity for the Senate Majority Leader to pull something off this week.

As stated late last week:

"Reid could still insert the poker legalization into the tax-cut bill if additional modifications are made before a final vote is cast sometime next week. Or he could slip the plan into a mammoth $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that has yet to be unveiled but is necessary to keep the government funded through September."

Gaming analyst Brian McGill of Janney Capital Markets issued a report on Friday in which he claimed that the odds of the bill passing this year are "less than 10%". He also said that if the bill doesn't become law this year, then there is no chance of it happening next year.

Having said that, until the current session of Congress officially comes to an end, Reid's bill can not officially be declared "dead". In fact, anything could still happen between now and when the 112th United States Congress is sworn in next year.


The general consensus at this point seems to be that Reid has little to no chance of pushing through his online poker legislation, and that he is claiming to "still be working on it" in order to gain some points with some of his top donors, who include MGM Resorts International and Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment Corp.).

If Reid's efforts prove unsuccessful, then one man is almost entirely to blame - Senator Jon Kyl.

Kyl is fervently opposed to any type of legalized and regulated online gambling in the United States, and his steadfast refusal to change his stance will likely end up being the reason why Reid's online poker bill doesn't become law. A number of politicians and organizations have come out against the bill, but Kyl has been particularly outspoken against it. It doesn't seem like there is any deal or compromise that can be reached that would make Kyl change his mind on this matter.

Unfortunately for US online poker players, Kyl isn't up for re-election until 2012, and there is no reason to think that he will lose at that point (his narrowest margin of victory since first being elected to the Senate in 1994 has been 7.8%).


As mentioned, anything can still happen between now and Friday, so the sweat will continue for at least five more days.

Source: - Harry Reid Won't Push Online Poker in Tax Cut Bill

Photo: Getty Images


Filed Under: UIGEA

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