Check it out, front page of today’s Las Vegas Sun … got a speaking role in the Harry Reid online poker bill debate, playing
a professional know-it-all an expert commentator on casinos, politics, and poker. When yammering on to a “mainstream” journalist for some 45 minutes about a plausibly complex subject, you never quite know which few lines will resonate … but here’s how my part played out in full:
Proposed language wouldnâ€™t exclude these offshore companies upfront, as Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frankâ€™s previous attempt at Internet gambling legalization would have done. Instead, any gambling operator can apply for a license in the Reid bill. And yet, proposed language would allow only operators of existing casinos or racetracks to obtain licenses in the two years after regulators issue the first Internet poker license.
This provision, one of the most controversial in the Reid bill, is a reasonable compromise, although it has upset poker players who view it as unfairly benefiting Nevada casino giants over their favored gambling websites, said Dan Michalski, founder and editor of Pokerati.com, a Las Vegas-based poker blog.
Some lawmakers and their constituents view these foreign companies as lawbreakers. And U.S. casino companies probably wouldnâ€™t support an equal playing field for Web casino operators, given that the U.S. companies have waited on the sidelines for more than a decade for the chance to make money online, Michalski said.
â€œThis kind of puts (the online operators) in the penalty box for a while and says, â€˜We might let you in but youâ€™re certainly not going to be the first in line.â€™ I think that was to be expected.â€