As the push to legalize online gambling in North America gains momentum, online poker lobbyists are trying to find a republican leader who will fight for their views in the senate. In the recent past, Former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was one of the strongest advocates to legalize online poker and did his best to get the legislation passed with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
However, Kyl is now retired and poker lobbyists are in need of another strong campaigner, preferably someone who is not from Nevada as they believe that they will get noticed more when the push comes from a republican who is not from the state of Nevada. In a release, Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association said
We want to make sure that this is not Nevada-centric. It’s important to find someone who sees the wisdom of going forward with the federal bill. It just makes sense that this important legislation has bipartisan support
Fahrenkopf confirmed that a number of senators have been approached in this regard but did not want to confirm the names of the individuals. As of now, Reid and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are working closely together to address the issue of online poker. However, the gaming industry wants to be a step ahead and are looking for strong leaders who are outside of Nevada. They believe if the push for online poker originates mainly from Vegas and Atlantic City, both of the country’s biggest gambling cities, then there is a less likelihood of the senate considering this to be a critical issue.
The president of Porter Gordon Silver Communications, Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.) who has campaigned for gaming interests in the past said
Sen. Reid has been great. Sen. Heller has been great. But this is a national issue, not just a Nevada or a New Jersey bill, so the conventional wisdom is we need someone outside of the states of Nevada and New Jersey to help be in the lead. I say the more, the better, for this or any issue
Some of the key lobbyists are focusing on GOP senators to discuss how best they can push forth the online gambling and online poker laws. Both online gambling lobbyists and online poker players are eager to see new laws being passed that makes it once again for online gambling to be legal in the United States. Most likely, the House will make a decision on the status of online gambling before end of 2013.