That’s the word from noted British investment analyst Daniel Stewart … And our sources in Washington DC (highly reliable sort) unofficially confirm that indeed, the beleaguered Senate Majority Leader is working on an online-poker-only bill. Might he be looking to pull a Bill Frist (his predecessor as #1 US Senator) and give a little gift to his Big Casino backers before he gets booted from office?
The stockbroker noted speculation that US Senator Harry Reid and his pro-legislation cohorts are preparing a Bill that could be introduced into the Senate within the next three months and ready for approval by the President during H2 2010.
Daniel Stewart believes that the proposed Federal legislation will encompass just online poker and exclude casino and sports betting services, which should ensure that it is easier to implement.
â€œThe legalised US online poker market represents a massive pot of gold for the entities that can monetise a market we estimate to offer likely annual gross gaming revenue of >$8bn annuallyâ€. According to Daniel Stewart, the clear winners from the proposed US legislation will be the US-based gambling giants such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM, Harrah’s and Wynn.
Hmm, interesting. Now the purpose of the American Gaming Association’s shift in policy stance is becoming a bit clearer. Considering that they’re the representative voice for B/M casinos, you can see a plausible plan taking shape:
1. Let the UIGEA go into full effect June 1.
2. Eliminate the most powerful online poker operators currently in the industry (i.e. Tilt and Stars).
3. Pass a new law.
4. Let Harrah’s, the Sands, and MGM/Mirage set up shop.
5. Then let the European poker sites join the party.
Step #2, of course, is the billion-dollar mystery question that could dramatically affect us all. Howard Lederer and family have been doing their best to line political pockets with campaign contributions for the past few years … but there’s only so much you can do as an individual when you don’t have an American corporation to funnel your campaign finances through.
A quick look at donors to Harry Reid (D-NV) suggests that $4,750 from Howard Lederer and $3,500 from Chris Ferguson might not buy the same level of loyalty as MGM/Mirage and Harrah’s have: Sen. Harry Reid – Top 100 Contributions for 2010 Election