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US Draft Legislation to Regulate Internet Poker Indeed on the Table Says Congressional Aid

5 December 2010 by Devon Chappell

ussenatebillThis is the week people. No, I’m not referring to whether or not Shanikwa gets voted off the island – although this isn’t too far off considering there are internet betting sites that will let you wager on reality television outcomes. I’m talking about something of slightly greater importance – whether or not the current Congress passes lame-duck legislation to regulate online poker on a federal level.

If you’ve been keeping up with former posts here at Online Casino Suite, you should know that all eyes are on Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (If you haven’t been keeping up with the OCS blog, well…let’s just say that you have been very, very bad and should downright be ashamed of yourself…even more so than the time you fantasized about your fifth-grade…O.K., we’ll leave it at that).

So, yes, it’s up to Senator Reid to introduce the legislation that will effectively give some form of regulation to some form of online gambling. You see, Reid and his camp have been quite tight-lipped about their intentions…that is, until now. According to a Congressional aid speaking on the condition of anonymity, Reid’s aids have been busy circulating draft legislation of late.

The Senator has indeed finally revealed exactly what he intends to introduce on the Senate floor tomorrow. Quick word of warning: Don’t get too excited, ’cause while there is progress being made on the regulatory front, it is still far from being liberalized….err, I mean liberated.

According to reports by the Associated Press (who apparently got their hands on a copy of the legislation), Reid is proposing to legalize online poker, but only to the extent of restricting licenses to casinos and racetrack operators that have been in business for five years. It is unclear whether or not online casino games are included in the legislation, although this could later be decided by those actually overseeing the regulation – individual State’s and Indian tribes.

So while some State’s may choose to regulate and other’s may not, US citizens (no matter their State) will have a much easier time getting transactions through at online casinos, including the offshore operators who will still very likely continue to do business with US citizens, just as they are at this very moment.

That is the one positive of getting any federal regulation passed – it will effectively put the UIGEA online gambling ban out of commission – or at least murk things up enough that nobody will know any better. That, in turn, will result in easier transactions (many U.S. citizens currently face delayed withdrawal times and denied deposits) and more betting options. With that, however, comes the big dogs – the big-name brick ‘n mortar casino brands which many a bettor will turn to. While that’s not necessarily bad for said casinos, it could cause a dent in business for the smaller operators and affiliates currently catering to the U.S. market.

As I like to say about everything that happens (including whether or not I will get a beer gut)… only time will tell. Just as time has finally told us what Senator Harry Reid intends to do with Barney Frank’s online gambling legislation, it soon will tell us how all this effects the industry as a whole.

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