Phantom Reid Bill, Take 2

by , Nov 17, 2011 | 10:28 am

It’s November, and the online poker political buzz seems ready to kick into high gear … we’ve got the Senate Indian Affairs Committee taking on the issue today (with Al D’Amato testifying on behalf of poker players from the MoneyMaker-Duhamel era) … and the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade revisiting the issue tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, the New York Post is reporting that “the smart money is betting Washington will legalize online poker” … with the suggestion that Harry Reid has his own version of the Barton Bill forthcoming. That’s hardly a surprise around here … but what could be something of a WTF, if it turns out to be true, are reportable rumors that Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will likely be a co-sponsor.

Kyl, of course, is one of the original architects of the UIGEA who will be retiring at the end of the current Congressional session. Ahh, it’s all starting to make a little sense now … can you see the path through Congress starting to emerge?

Just last week (Ret.) Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) made a peculiar reference to Kyl, suggesting his support of new online poker measures might be more than tacit. Porter, now a consultant for the PPA, was speaking at Aria in Las Vegas to a few dozen gambling industry scouts attending a Brit-organized conference on US Online Gaming Law. His session: Assessing How Political Developments Affect Legislative Timelines

Have a listen. Not only does Porter say, “We are closer today than we’ve ever been before” (1:45), but also he refers to Kyl “doing everything he can to help us” (19:05) … while laying out a plan that may include attachment to an omnibus bill in the next 30 days. But that was last week, so it’s plenty possible much has changed.

Porter is speaking at the start and throughout the bulk of this recording. The other voices to pipe in toward the end — right after @CasinoCityVin asks for clarity on Kyl’s level of support (30:45) — are I. Nelson Rose (the gaming law expert who sees a far more protracted timeline) and Dale McDonnell, GC for the Minnesota state lottery. David Satz, VP of Government Affairs for Caesars Entertainment, was also on the panel … though he spoke before it occurred to me to press “record”.

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