Reid Wrangles For Online Poker Legislation
December 3, 2021
Possible new online poker legislation is a popular topic among poker players, and the media that follows them, however today the topic is also on the tongues of many in the mainstream, thanks to Nevada Senator Harry Reid and a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the article, which came out yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Reid has been hard at work recently attempting to circulate new “poker only” online gambling legislation that could effectively cancel out the highly unpopular Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)- at least when it comes to online poker.  This bill could potentially be attached soon to pending legislation, making its passing during the current lame-duck session a real possibility.  

Reid’s spin on the topic- currently being altered and added to as this is written no doubt- would initially only allow “existing casinos, horse tracks and slot-machine makers” to operate online poker websites, substantially changing the current online poker landscape and possibly shutting out sites like Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars in the process. 

The bill will leave oversight of the newly licensed sites to the states in which they are located, though resulting tax revenues will go into both the state’s and the federal government’s coffers.

Congressional Republicans, traditionally against any efforts to regulate and tax online gambling, have already come out against this attempt by Reid to take advantage of the last few remaining days that both the House and the Senate are controlled by Democrats, and have sent an open letter to Reid to persuade him against it.

One notable excerpt from that letter, signed by Senator Spencer Bachus and Representatives Dave Camp and Lamar Smith argues, “creating a federal right to gamble that has never existed in our country’s history and imposing an unprecedented new tax regime on such activity require careful deliberation, not back- room deals,” seems highly ironic to many, particularly given how the UIGEA was originally passed back in 2006.

To read the original Wall Street Journal article click here.
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