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Is Reid Really Behind his Bill and is it Even Fair to Poker Players?

9 December 2010 by admin

Up until very recently Senator Harry Reid of Nevada was on the opposed side of the United States regulating online gambling and online poker. But within the last few days Reid has pulled a bill to regulate online gambling out of what seems like thin air.

At first online poker players rejoiced. Here was a man who was really taking action to legalize and regulate online gambling. Reid came out of the dark and was going to do what Representative Barney frank could not do in the last few years. Reid was going to get us online poker regulation.

But the pieces of the bill and the motivation do not quite seem to line up with what online poker players are wanting, and they are beginning to realize this as more details fall out of Reid’s little group.

For starters there is the fifteen months that online poker players would have to wait to play because Reid thinks that any interested online casinos need to not except any US players for a time. Yes, federal lawmakers will need time to actually structure the regulation for online poker playing, but why at the expense of the players? What viable reason is there to keep players from playing while the actual regulation is being written? Players are not seeing any good reasons why they should not be allowed to play for such a long period of time—and fifteen months is a long time in the Age of the Internet.

So aside from the proposed fifteen month cessation of online poker, what else is there that is making online poker players raise an eyebrow?

For me another biggie is the portion of Reid’s bill that would only allow brick and mortar casinos to apply for licenses and they must have been in business in their brick and mortar form for at least five years. On the surface that does not sound like too big of a deal. But take a second look.

It means that all of the new, recently legalized brick and mortar casinos that have opened would not be allowed to apply. This would include all of the new casinos in the northeast; they would have to sit cooling their heels until they hit the five year mark. And with the brick and mortar portion of that part of the bill, current online poker sites such as Full Tilt and PokerStars would not be eligible for a US online gambling operation license—that knocks out the majority of the online poker sites that players currently play on.

And the reason why, or at least why some players think why, is because Reid’s bill effectively cuts out almost all the casinos in the US except for those in Atlantic City and in his home state of Nevada. It might also not be a coincidence that Reid’s narrow win over Sharron Angle is a result of the backing of the gambling industry in Nevada. The five year brick and mortar operation stipulation may very well be a response to the Nevada gaming industry’s support to Reid—a kind of ‘you scratch my back, I will scratch yours’ sort of thing.

With these portions of Reid’s online gambling bill coming to the surface, doubt and questioning ridden to the surface as well. Perhaps if Reid had timed the release of his online gambling bill a little later to the close of the lame duck session it might have passed without a lot of skepticism. A bit too late for that now and online poker players are beginning to wonder if they should want Reid’s bill or not. Maybe Frank has had it right all along—like comparing the Tortoise to the Hare.

One Response to “Is Reid Really Behind his Bill and is it Even Fair to Poker Players?”

  1. Caesars to Run Two Ohio Casinos | Online Casino Suite Blog says:

    […] online poker bill, which failed to pass Congress during the lame duck session, had a provision that only allowed online gambling licenses to be held by casinos that had run land businesses in the state for at least five years. Though […]