12/17/2012 3:46PM

U.S. Senator drops push for online poker legalization this year


U.S. Sen. Harry Reid will no longer pursue federal legislation that would legalize online poker during this year’s lame-duck session, an official from the senator’s office told a Las Vegas newspaper.

David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the senator had “run out of time” to pursue the legislation, which was being pushed by a lobbying group supported by most of the largest casino companies in the United States, poker interests, and several racing-related companies, including Churchill Downs. Supporters of the legislation had hoped to gather support for passage of the bill in the lame-duck session after negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff concluded, but those talks remain open with one week left before the Christmas holiday.

“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 you’ve built,” Krone said.

Draft legislation circulated by supporters of a bill would have allowed states to legalize online poker for their citizens. Churchill, which runs the largest account-wagering company in the United States, has supported the efforts because of its ambitions to become a major player in online gambling.

Racing currently enjoys the only exception to a federal law banning online gambling in the United States.


Ronald Porter More than 1 year ago
I sit here with the article mentioned on my lap and what Matt Hegarty doesn't tell you is in oppisiotion to this bill that was never introdiced was that it would have declared most other forms of Internet gambling illegal, reversing the Department of Justice memorandum from a year ago that gave the green light to legislation being proposed in more than a dozen states to initiate in-state online gambling. The bill was backed by Nevada Casino companies seeking new and national markets for their brands. Really. Before you rip off a nasty gram to your politicos about ignoring this bill, think do Nevada Casinos need to monopilize all national gambling?
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
I totally agree. In some way this represents an opportunity for horseracing to get into this business. I believe Churchill has already done so with Luckity.com. Maybe, I am way off here, but horseracing already has a presence in online gambling. Why not add more gaming options to the existing channel. I am also assuming that horseracimg-based random number generators would be the game's pathway to other forms of legal online gaming