The poker community in the US which was eagerly awaiting a gambling bill that permitted them to play online poker was once again disappointed with the latest tax bill that was pushed forward in the US senate a few days ago. The lack of provisions in regards to online poker has made it obvious to the people that a pro online poker law will not be passed this year.
The bill in question was the year-end tax bill which had no clauses or riders discussing online poker and gambling. It was expected that Senator Harry Reid, who has taken a pro-gambling stance, would use this particular bill as a mode to pass the legalization of online poker in the United States. Needless to say, when this did not happen, the entire poker community was disappointed and casino owners in Nevada saw it as a setback. This was because they were hoping to gain some money from internet gaming which would change their profit margin for the year; however, this will now not be possible on account of Reid’s decision to not put provisions for the legalization of poker in this year-end tax bill.
Senator Jon Kyl, put up a strong opposition against the idea of putting provisions for the legalization of online poker in this tax bill and Reid eventually cowed down to this. According to a spokesman of Senator Harry Reid “the poker language will not be in the tax bill.” It must be noted this does not mean that the idea of legalizing online poker in the United States has been put away by Senator Harry Reid, but rather that it may have been put on hold until next year since the lame duck session will be ending next week.
The decision to keep online poker away from the tax bill was backed by Capitol Hill officials and some industry professionals.The bill had 44 pages and did not mention poker at all; neither did it contain a provision for online poker via the context of gambling in its text.
Brian McGill, a gaming analyst for Janney Capital Markets, commented on the issue in his report which appeared to support Reid’s decision. “Senator Reid really must try to appease both MGM and Harrah’s who made financial contributions to his re-election campaign. Therefore, we expect that Reid will continue to publicly say he is working on the issue until the lame-duck session ends.”
“We would put the odds at passage at less than 10 percent now. If the bill does not pass in the lame-duck session, there is zero chance it will get passed in 2011,” McGill added.

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