If you wanted to know where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV, pictured) stood on internet gambling, look no further than an article published on Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In it, Reid, clear as day, told the world, “I think the proliferation of gambling on the internet is not good for our country. I think it is an invitation to crime. I think it is hard to control for crime when you’ve got brick-and-mortar places, let alone something up in the sky someplace, and it is very bad for children.”
Yes, internet gambling is “something up in the sky someplace.”
Reid told the Review-Journal that he expects Republicans to initiate efforts to ban internet gambling when the new Congress convenes in January and, if that happens, he’ll be in favor of an exemption for online poker. “I think there will be efforts made to look at the Wire Act in a Republican-initiated Congress,” Reid told readers. “I think there will be efforts made to get rid of the Wire Act.”
According to the outgoing Senate Majority Leader, the only way to realize legalized online poker at the Federal level in the US is to prohibit other forms of online gambling in the process. He summarized, “Just to get poker alone is not going to work. We tried that.”
The Review-Journal explained the relationship that exists between Reid and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands owner who has vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to rid the US of internet gambling. Reid was quoted as saying, “Sheldon Adelson and I have been friends for a long time, but on politics he and I don’t agree, so we don’t do politics. I’m glad he joined my position (against internet gambling).”
Did we mention the internet is “something up in the sky someplace”? Call it “series of tubes: the sequel.” Maybe we’ll see another remix:
Adelson’s bill, the Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)-led Restoring America’s Wire Act, would have extinguished online gambling in the US, including in the three states where it’s legal. It’s unclear if there would have been a carve-out for poker or whether New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware would have been able to keep their industries intact.
Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker legislation news.