Earlier this year, online poker was getting a lot of publicity as a number of states pushed for the legalization of the online gambling bill. Things picked up even further, when the state of Nevada confirmed that online gambling was legal towards the end of April.
A number of poker enthusiasts and professional poker players were expecting a number of other states to follow suit and give them the opportunity to once again play online poker from the comfort of their homes. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who was one of the main lobbyists in favour legalizing online gambling, recently confirmed that things have slowed down and the probability of passing a federal online poker bill before the end of 2013 were extremely thin.
Reid was candid and openly expressed his pessimism by saying
I felt for several months now that I don’t see any movement on this. I don’t see anything happening.
Reid’s concerns are understandable as he fought hard for the online bill to get approved back in 2012 and it failed and it appears that 2013 will be no different.
However, there has been some progress in 2013 with intrastate online gaming being passed in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. In Nevada, only online poker is permitted as the moment. Reid is of the belief that those in favour of online gambling in the senate need to come up with a strong strategy to gain momentum.
Reid has been advocating for the legalization of online poker, where as Peter King (R-NY) has gone a step further and proposed an Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2013 that will look to legalize all forms of online gambling, except sports betting.
While King’s proposal looks better on paper as it covers all aspects of gambling, Harry Reid was of the view that it is better to get approval one step at a time, than rushing the whole process. He went on to say that his proposal of legalizing online poker throughout the nation had a better chance of success than the legalization of all forms of gambling.
Reid’s office released a statement earlier which referred to his online poker proposal. The statement said that the
only reason this bill did not move forward is because of a lack of Republican support. That was true in 2010, in 2012 and remains true today.