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Harry Reid Struggles to Keep Gaming Coalition Together

The Justice Department’s new interpretation of the Wire Act may be a double edged sword for Harry Reid and supporters of his bill. The new stance on the legality of online gaming has given states the right to pass their own bills to regulate the industry. This has made lawmakers in Washington feel the need to take immediate action on passing a bill.

At the same time, the DOJ’s new view on the Wire Act has made it difficult for Reid to create a unified coalition to legalize online gaming. Senators from a number of states are looking to legalize online gaming as a means of generating revenue and creating new jobs. These senators are likely to be supporters of a federal bill that would set consistent standards across the country. Lawmakers in Nevada, California and Delaware are all looking for a bill that would legalize online gaming at the national level.

Reid realizes he needs to approach the bill carefully. He can’t threaten the prosperity any of those states stand to gain from online gaming without losing the support of those senators.

Additionally, Reid needs to safeguard the interests of Native American tribes. Many tribes have finally started to show support for online gaming and Reid can’t afford to lose that. Most of these same tribes were adamantly opposed to legalizing online gaming last year. They have since become staunch advocates for a bill that would benefit them. However, Reid could easily lose their support if he fails to fulfill their wishes.

According to many experts, Reid’s bill would clarify the principles of the Wire Act and make all forms of online gaming other than online poker illegal. This could alienate many states that are looking to launch online lotteries and other forms of online gaming.

According to some experts, these changes would not apply to any state that passes these laws before Reid’s bill would. They are encouraging lawmakers from these states to make haste in their efforts to legalize other forms of online gaming. They may only have a short window before the opportunity disappears forever.

This blog entry was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 3:01 pm and is filed under Casino News.

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