Just a few days ago, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced via YouTube and press release he would be retiring after serving his current term in office. It appears as though the senator plans on using his final months in his position to try and see online gaming banned across the United States. According to recent statements by Reid in interviews, he believes that online gaming is not good for the country, though in the past he has supported an online poker exemption.
According to Vegas INC, Reid spoke recently on the KNPR State of Nevada, a talk show, and was not clear as to if he would be supporting an exception for online poker as he had done in the past. After being asked if he was in support of the complete ban, in regards to Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act, he responded:
“Well, we will see what the legislation does—we will see what the House does. But I think, for the state of Nevada, online gaming is not the direction we should go.”
The RAWA legislation, if passed, would reverse the decision of the Department of Justice from 2011 which allowed online gaming to take place legally. Since the legislation has been introduced the Republicans have power in the House and Senate, which has led to further progress for the bill. Representative Jason Chaffetz introduced the measure to the House with a hearing taking place March on the bill, which was very one-side in favor of the measure.
Andy Abboud, an ally of Adelson and a common representative of the measure, stated that he believes Reid hears the position of Adelson and the fact they share the same position speaks volumes about where he is on the issue. Having the support of the Senate minority leader is definitely a negative as this could help the bill move further into legislation.
Just like there are opponents to online poker gaming, there are also proponents, who have tried to have their voice heard on the matter as well. John Pappas, the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, commented on Reid as well, hoping his stance was still in favor of online poker.
In the report, Pappas stated: “Senator Reid has been a vocal supporter of Internet poker and the regulation of Internet poker, and I certainly hope that position has not changed. I think there’s clearly one casino interest in the state that opposes this, but Mr. Reid does have a lot of other casino interests and home-state employers that are very interested in seeing Internet poker be prosperous.”
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