Senator Harry Reid’s failure to get the federal online poker bill passed has invited criticism from several quarters. Reportedly, Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl had done their best to get the bill passed during the lame duck session of the Congress, but the bill was not considered important enough. The federal online poker bill for 2012 definitely died and chances of online poker being legalized and regulated at the federal level are now slimmer than ever.
Critics are questioning Reid’s methods of handling the federal-level online poker bill, which would have legalized online poker if it was passed into law. Reid hurt any chances his bill might have had when he attacked Dean Heller for failing to garner adequate support for GOP. Critics have also demanded to know why the two senators agreed upon a bill that legalized only poker, but not other forms of online gambling, thereby angering casino companies, lottery companies, and other gambling companies. It is generally felt in the gambling circles that Reid did not lack any GOP support; instead, he lacked Democrat support, which was why he refrained from formally introducing the online poker bill.
Although the senator has promised to make another attempt in 2013 and has assured the online poker community that he has enough support from the Democrats, American Gaming Association (AGA) CEO Frank Fahrenkopf is skeptical. He said, “Heller and Kyl went to Republican senators, and most of them agreed something had to be done about the problem, but until we see a bill and look at it, we can’t say for certain we’re going to vote for it. Sen. Reid had the same problem on the Democratic side.”
When the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced in late 2012 that the Wire Act of 1961 no longer applies to online casino and online poker gambling, US states took it as a green signal to regulate their respective online gambling industries. While US states such as Nevada and Delaware have already legalized and regulated online gambling, several other US states such as Mississippi and New Jersey have taken definite steps toward this direction. Many more US states are now considering the merits and demerits of legalizing online gambling.
Meanwhile, the AGA has demanded that the federal government must ban all online gaming, except Internet poker on grounds that legalizing online gambling would lead to a downfall of the US land casino industry.