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Harry Reid’s Gambling Bill… So Near Yet so Far

I’ve been following the news in the US recently regarding Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid’s efforts to get an online poker bill passed that will essentially legalize and regulate the game.  Reid got everyone’s hopes up by saying that he would attach the bill onto a tax cut bill during the Lame Duck Session of the House, and for a moment, US poker players actually did believe that there was a chance that we would finally see some improvement in the archaic and backward rules governing online poker in the country.

However, bowing to political pressure, Reid announced this week that he would not be putting the bill to the Senate’s consideration during this session after all and he has once again left us with the feeling that we are so near… and yet so far.  Of course, with the Republicans’ major landslide in the November elections – meaning that they will effectively run the House from the beginning of the year – there is very little chance that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act will be rescinded.

There has been plenty of opposition to Reid’s efforts from the start. He was touted as only trying to pass the bill in order to appease his political backers made up of Vegas gambling moguls and tycoons.  Allowing an online poker license ruled by a licensing regime would give these gambling groups a foot in the door of the growing internet gambling industry.  A number of power-wielding Republicans have also been very vocal in their opposition. Lamar Smith, Spencer Bachus and Dave Camp all wrote to Reid telling him exactly what they thought of his attempts to pass the bill and it seems that their pressure paid off. Sadly for the gambling world, all three of these men will have some kind of power over the issue of internet wagering in the next Congress.

And so, once more, another year passes without any real progress being made in the legalization of online gambling in the United States. Each year, we seem to get that much closer to seeing the introduction of legal online casinos… and then lose out at the last minute. Here’s hoping that 2011 will be more successful!

Posted in Casino News, Online Casinos.

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