In breaking news from Washington, DC, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV, pictured), who has reportedly been working with UIGEA mastermind Jon Kyl(R-AZ) to create an online poker bill and push it through Congress in 2012, has declared the issue dead until next year. The news comes just a few days before the close of the current Congressional session, when all bills not acted upon will need to be reintroduced in order to be acted upon.
One of Reid’s staffers told the Las Vegas Review-Journalon Friday afternoon, “It is something next year we can investigate again, but for 2012, for this Congress we have run out of time. Our goal is to definitely try again next year, but Senator Reid’s feeling is that after a while, there comes a time when you’ve lost momentum, you’ve lost the consensus that you’ve built. There will be a window next year, but I don’t see it going long.”
Reid was reportedly seeking a vehicle to attach online poker to as a rider in similar fashion to how the UIGEA was passed in 2006, and his options included a piece of legislation addressing the so-called fiscal cliff. In 2010, Reid was reportedly targeting a budget bill for an online poker rider, but his efforts were also unsuccessful.
Earlier this week, Reid, the leading Democrat in the Senate, told reporters that he had managed to procure Republican support for an online poker bill, but lacked a vehicle to attach it to: “We suddenly have Republican votes on internet poker two weeks before Christmas. Without being vulgar, what the hell would I put it on?”
PPA Vice President of Player Relations Rich TheEngineerMuny posted Tweets consisting of quotes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal story. Muny told PocketFives he was still confirming the story and would e-mail us back in due time. Meanwhile, PPA Executive Director John Pappas told PocketFives that he could not confirm the bill was dead, but did not sound optimistic about its chances.
The measure had garnered quite a bit of opposition, including a group of state lotteryrepresentatives that visited the Capitol in recent weeks to voice their displeasure about the bill restricting their ability to raise revenue online. Certain tribaland family-focused interests also vehemently opposed Reid and Kyl’s efforts.
Caesars Entertainment Senior Vice President Jan Jones told the Journal, “Everybody worked real hard on this. This is disappointing to the industry and also the country. Many folks want this to happen.”
We’ll have the latest for you on this still developing story right here on PocketFives.