Reid and Kyl Federal Online Gaming Bill Summarized

Over the past few days, a summary of the Sens. Harry Reid and Jon Kyl federal online gaming poker bill has been passed through the poker community. The bill is titled Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012. The bill is calling for restriction of online gambling in most forms, but has listed online poker as an exception.

The bill would be modifying the 1970 Illegal Gambling Business Act as well as the 1961 Wire Act. The modifications would be made to the acts so they can “clearly apply to modern technologies and to all forms of unlicensed Internet gambling.” The measure would allow licensing of online poker, as well as online lottery tickets and off-track horse race wagering options.

If the bill becomes a law, it would be around fifteen months before an online poker market was established in the United States. The online poker activity would only be allowed in states that opt into the law as well as tribal lands who want to opt in. A tribe will only have the option to opt in if the state they reside in has opted in.

The poker community has been optimistic on the prospect of an online poker bill on the federal level but the future of the bill was threatened this week, due to a conflict between Reid and Senator Dean Heller. According to a report by Poker News, Heller has been working with Kyle to try and get Republican leaders and the GOP senators to get on board with the bill.

Reid told Heller that as of September 10th, he needed to secure the 60 vote majority in the senate for the bill to be able to move through Congress before the recess this November. Heller told Reid that it would be better if the House of Representatives addressed the issue first. Kyl then sided with Heller’s opinion and Reid’s motives for the deadline were questioned. More information on the bill can be found here.

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