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Summary Text of Reid-Kyl Internet Gambling Bill Goes Public

Harry Reid

A summary text of the Reid-Kyl Internet gambling bill that has been circulating among a small number of lobbyists and lawmakers for two months finally leaked this week.

The bill is titled The Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012. Although the draft bill is still being worked on and likely will have changes by the time it is introduced in the legislature, the summary text gives the poker community an early look at how the bill might be worded.

There are several segments that surely will be areas of concern for poker players:

  • Not only does the bill strengthen the UIGEA against forms of Internet gambling outside of poker and horse racing, it changes the Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act to apply to all forms of unlicensed Internet gambling.
  • States are automatically opted out of offering Internet poker unless they opt in by a majority vote of the state legislature. In the Reid bill two years ago, states that offered brick-and-mortar poker were automatically opted in. Tribes can only opt in if tribal lands are located within a state that has opted in.
  • For the first two years, only existing land-based casinos of a certain size will be licensed.
  • Websites (such as PokerStars) that offered Internet gambling in the U.S. following the enactment of UIGEA are prohibited from being licensed for the first five years after the enactment of the bill.
  • Just like two years ago, there is a 15-month blackout period. This isn't as big of a deal since most people who did play in the U.S. stopped playing after Black Friday.
  • Existing gaming that is authorized, licensed and regulated by states or tribes as of May 1, 2012, will be grandfathered in. Delaware, the only state to authorize Internet gambling thus far, passed the bill in June and has yet to start licensing and regulation.
  • Playing on unlicensed sites will be explicitly illegal with winnings subject to forfeiture. This means players in opt-out states will not be able to continue playing on offshore sites.

The chances for this bill passing by the end of the year are not looking good this week, with open bickering between principal authors Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), as well as Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Reid wrote a letter to Heller charging that the Republican Nevada Senator has failed to gain Republican support for a bill that is paramount to the state, and Kyl responded by saying Reid's letter and its political undertones had made passing the bill more difficult.

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*Photo courtesy of ThePoliticalCarnival.net

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Comments

  • ICEBERG64 ICEBERG64

    I played on FTP & Poker Stars plus others before black Friday and Reid is screwing it all up ! If it becomes law the way he wrights it up we might as well be playing video poker because the games will be stacked against us (I know they cheat but it's the only game in town ) We won't be able to play were we want only were they tell us to BULL - - - T ! HARRY REID IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO ( OLD GOAT ) How much are you getting paid for this 30 pieces of gold !

  • Tom_0309 Tom_0309

    Yes, PokerStars did team up with brick-and-mortar casino conglomerate Wynn Resorts in March of 2011. When Black Friday came to be in mid-April of 2011 Wynn Resorts severed those ties. Perhaps PS has inside information as to the exact date that the online poker bill is to be passed for they APPEAR to be dragging their feet on linking up with a US based brick-and-mortar casino company. In other words: when news hits that PS has tied-up with a US based brick-and-mortar casino company you can almost bet that a federal online poker bill will pass within 4 weeks of that announcement. My guess is that PS will make that announcement just after the FTP re-launch in Europe in mid-November.

    P.S. - Perhaps the 5 year prohibition of PS from the US online market only applies if they desire to go-it-alone? Teh devil is in the details. Read: no details, just vagueness = confusion.

  • Percival Percival

    This was known, thats why PokerStars and other UIGEA violators teamed up with brick and mortar conglomerates - their gonna backdoor their way into doing business from day 1.

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