Posts Tagged ‘Jon Kyl’

WSOP Main Event, the Reid-Kyl Letter, and Gary Johnson for Poker President

by , Jul 19, 2011 | 11:21 am

We speak again to our friend Dan Pokerati Michalski about the WSOP and the recent developments with online poker as well as his conversation with Gary Johnson.

The Jon & Harry Show

by , Jul 18, 2011 | 12:25 pm

By letter to federal Attorney General Eric Holder dated July 14th of this year, US Senators Jon Kyl and Harry Reid have made known their views on Internet gaming. Or rather: they’ve let the AG know what they want the Department of Justice to do without exactly saying what their position is. (Thanks to Chris Krafcik for circulating the letter.)

This letter, from two senators coming from very different camps on the Internet gaming issue, is a very interesting document both for what it says and for what it doesn’t say.

What it says is that the Department of Justice has been lax in pursuing foreign private Internet gaming operators and that this has “led to a signficant and growing perception … that the Department of Justice thought that the case [against operating Internet poker and other Internet gambling websites] was uncertain enough that it chose not to pursue enforcement actions.” The senators state that it’s important for the DOJ to pursue “illegal Internet gambling” in the United States “aggressively and consistently.” Most notably in this paragraph, Senators Kyl and Reid assert that Internet poker websites have been offering online play to Americans for many years “with apparently no repercussions.”


Opposition to Possible UIGEA Repeal Mounts

by , Dec 3, 2010 | 1:19 pm

So as we thought might-could happen (April, June), Harry Reid (D-NV) is pushing repeal of the UIGEA a way to shore up America’s net bottom-line. I get the feeling the re-empowered Senate Majority Leader was hoping this poker-only proposal could be a last-minute slip-in, a la the UIGEA. But that possibility now seems moot, with the issue officially on the DC radar.

The opposition is rallying the troops to squash any dreams of a poker-industry Christmas present. Check out the letter below, sent to Reid and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) by Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Dave Camp (R-MI), and Lamar Smith (R-TX), the ranking members in the powerful Financial Services, Ways & Means, and Judicial Committees, respectively.

The CC list includes influential Republican online gambling haters Kyl, Boehner, Cantor, and Pence — so you can see how it’s essentially a call to arms to the Republican party to sink this ship before it leaves port … or should we say port security?

Expect gloves to come off in congressional backrooms and in-boxes. The letter points out bipartisan opposition to HR 2267, even though it sailed through its 2010 committee vote with more bipartisan support. What it doesn’t point out — beyond the general issues of more tax revenue while protecting American liberty and supporting the will of the people — is how:

  • regulated online poker will create American jobs — 10s of thousands of them
  • Ron Paul has repeatedly supported efforts to repeal the UIGEA, a note to Tea Party voters who really wanna believe in sensible government, so they know this isn’t your usual government expansion
  • “Poker-only” is probably a safe compromise — that legal American businesses support and stands to have the most immediate positive impact with least possible likelihood of damage (since so many millions of Americans already play)

Camp-Smith Ltr to Reid and McConnell (1)

Reid Circulates Casino-Approved Poker-Only Draft to Repeal UIGEA

by , Dec 2, 2010 | 8:58 pm

Reid, backed by casino companies that “were among the Democrat’s biggest donors during his fierce re-election fight”, is currently passing a draft-version of his own brand new internet gambling bill around Capitol Hill this week.

The Wall Street Journal published an article today that is must-read for anyone who has been following the (wait-wait-and-wait) saga of legalizing online poker; check it out here ->|Reid Backs Legalizing Web Poker.

Key components of the draft-version of the Reid internet gambling bill:

1. Overturn UIGEA.

2. Provide legislation for poker-only.

3. Limit legal internet gaming to “allow only existing casinos, horse tracks and slot-machine makers to operate online poker websites for the first two years after the bill passes.”  It’s unclear what they are proposing to do with Full Tilt, Poker Stars, Ultimate Bet and the like “rogue” offshore sites during the time-out.

4. Outsource oversight of internet gambling to the *state* government.

5. Earmark revenue on wager to both state and federal governments.

The Vegas B&Ms had this to say on their confidence that new “one-size-please-all” Reid bill might navigate it’s way through the 111th Congress before the end of the lame duck session:

“Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Resorts International, a large Las Vegas-based casino company, said he hoped such a bill had a possibility of rushing through in the next few weeks. ‘A lot of things happen in this kind of time frame,’ he said.”

@ppapoker tweeted the link to the article at about 8p EST/5p Vegas tonight.

Senate GOP Vows Halt to All Lame Duck Action

UIGEA proponent Jon Kyl co-authors pledge

by , Dec 1, 2010 | 3:44 pm

This morning, Harry Reid received a letter in which the Senate Republicans have pledged to halt all action on lame duck legislative items until a deal is reached on tax cuts.  In this Nov 29 letter to Reid, signed by all 42 GOP Senators, Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) penned the following:

“… we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke closure on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers. With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”

Jon Kyl has been an important anti-gambling figure in the poker-politico scene, maintaining his objections to internet gambling since his election to Senate in 1994. He was a key figure in the passage of UIGEA, and stands strong against the act’s repeal.  Notably, “angry about the Treasury’s role in delaying the enforcement of the UIGEA”, Kyl blocked US Treasury officials from taking office this past February.  He is also a key supporters of the controversial internet domain blacklist bill – the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).  Perhaps the Homeland Security knew that all such lame duck actions would be stalled by the GOP when they preemptively seized 82 “illegal” domains last week under the moniker: Operation Our Sites II.

A video of Reid’s reaction to the Kyl/McDonnell filibuster was published on the SenateDemocrats YouTube channel today.

According to an article on the filibuster published in The Hill, “McConnell and other congressional leaders met with President Obama at the White House Tuesday to try to reach a deal on the tax cuts.” In Reid’s video, he states that Kyl has been chosen by the Republican party to represent them in these negotitations.  Reid has selected Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to represent the Dems.

A number of measures, in addition to COICA and the completely dead HR 2267, that have been hoping for motion during the last session of the 111th Congress, are the DREAM Act (immigration reform bill), extensions on the nation’s unemployment benefits, a repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”, and the long-stalled nuclear arms START treaty.

Everyone can rest safely on one account: @SenatorReid tweeted today that the bipartisan food safety bill made it in just under the wire.

UIGEA to go into effect June 1

by , Mar 17, 2010 | 6:17 pm

PokerNews is reporting that the UIGEA will go into effect on June 1, as the Treasury Department will not request another delay of the regulations to happen.

RE: Banks Prepping for Kibosh (2)

Old Congressional poker foes resurface

by , Nov 5, 2009 | 6:00 pm

via the PPA

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) have submitted their petition asking Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to ignore requests seeking to delay enforcement of the UIGEA.

[DC] Bachus Kyl Letter (11/03/09)

Beltway (Poker) Blogging

by , Jul 22, 2009 | 3:07 pm

I couldn’t resist posting the view of where I’m blogging from. There’s something quite serene about sitting on grass in pinstripe slacks, leaning against a tree, with the view seen here …

I’m in a park just outside the Senate office building, where I just had a meeting with a rising* Kay Bailey Hutchison staffer. Didn’t get to pitch the future governor of Texas senator herself — today is a crazy health care day around the Capitol — but we did get to educate her office on a Senate online poker bill that will supposedly be introduced in the next week or two. This bill — a re-introduction of Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) S-3616 — will be “like the Barney Frank bill, only it’s a cleaner bill … without any political bullshit,” one lobbyist explained to me.

Anyhow, the meeting went well, or at least well-ish. It was clear that KBH’s office hadn’t yet given any consideration to poker nor online gambling … so we got to lead out, and counteract the opposition arguments before they were even made. One noted positive — her staff has already been hit by a mini flood of letters supporting all our anti-UIGEA initiatives, so they know it’s an issue that matters to a sizable enough constituency to make it matter to elected officials, who apparently are very aware of any issue that potentially leaves them losing voters in bulk.

With that said, it also became clear that Hutchison (R-TX) will not be leading the way on this bill. Her staff was most interested in where Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) currently stands. Now while we know him as a previous bad guy, he and other UIGEA strongmen are apparently “coming around”. That’s not to say they’re suddenly going to switch teams, but Howard Lederer specifically made some persuasive arguments that made him far less likely to vehemently oppose us. The estimated $3 billion a year (which doesn’t even count the corporate taxes American-based online poker companies would pay) is resonating loud and clear, particularly this week as those wanting to position themselves as fiscal conservatives are trying to come up with a way to support health care despite its $200 billion shortfall. And being pegged as people who turned down tax revenue generated on behalf of protecting citizens and internet freedoms alike, they know may not sit well with voters.


Part 2 of WaPo story now online

by , Nov 30, 2008 | 6:26 pm

For those that want to get an early jump on Monday’s story in the Washington Post about attempting to legalize online gambling, preferably poker, it’s now available here.

Perspectives Weekly

by , May 5, 2008 | 6:39 am

In this episode:

Jon Kyl is Facing Reality!
It’s Lonely at the top of Morality Mountain…
There are still no regulations for UIGEA… Banks don’t want to police UIGEA… and others in Congress want to overturn UIGEA… I guess it’s time to face facts, Jon.

Chuck E Cheese is Facing Prison?
Pizza Selling Rat also promotes illegal gambling…
The great legal minds of South Carolina have concluded that the Skee ball and Whac-a-Mole games at Chuck E Cheese are a slippery slop to illegal gambling… and they must go!

News from both sides of the Atlantic
Lottery to Tennis… Texas to France…
In Texas, lottery officials are warning consumers about buying tickets online… and with good reason! And out of France, a judge has returned a ruling in the French Open vs Online Gambling case.