The US online poker community will have to wait for a long time to see some proper poker laws in the land. Dan Friedman and Juliana Gruenwald, writers for the National Journal, say in a report titled “Online Gambling Bill Not A Good Bet,” that Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Harry Reid of Nevada, the staunchest advocates of online poker legalization, are now no longer optimistic about the passage of their bill in the Congress’ lame duck session.

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Kyl and Reid had agreed on a proposed online poker bill that, if passed, will legalize, regulate, and tax the online poker industry in America while banning all other types of online gambling. The senators, who were initially optimistic about their bill getting passed, are now no longer sure.

Senator Reid said that “the bill doesn’t have a path forward right now, but we’re working on it.” Kyl, who has been against online gambling for a long time, will soon retire. He approves of the proposed bill because it would give US players the right to play online poker in a legalized and regulated environment while banning all other forms of online gambling, which suits him fine.

Reid, who also used to oppose online gambling, had decided to act in favor of it to please some of his wealthy and influential supporters. The casino gaming industry of Nevada had supported him politically and Reid worked for this bill as a way of returning the favor. If Reid fails to pass this bill, the casino industry will be disappointed; moreover, individual states will be left to create their own regulatory framework for online poker.

On the other hand, the National Governors Association and Indian gaming groups are against federal legalization of online poker. But the Poker Players Alliance is lobbying hard for it and so is the Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). However, those in favor of online poker legalized at the federal level are not in the Congress, which is unable to make up its mind on the issue.

The online poker community is pinning its hopes on Kyl and Reid’s proposed online poker bill and yet another poker bill proposed by Representative Joe Barton. However, the chances of a poker bill being passed as a stand alone bill are remote. The only way out is to attach the proposed bill to another important bill, which is how the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006.

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