PPA: Disappointing Year for Federal Online Poker Legislation

The Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, has summed up the progress made by federal online poker legislation in the United States as “disappointing.”

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Pappas was referring in particular to Senator Harry Reid’s online poker bill which died in the lame duck session of Congress on Friday, essentially dashing all hopes of the US seeing a regulated and licensed online poker regime this year.

“It is an extremely disappointing end to a year where tremendous progress was made… I am most upset for the players, who have been calling on Congress for years to pass an Internet poker law that protects consumers, restores their freedoms and raises revenue,” said Pappas. “While I don’t think these voices have fallen on deaf ears, I am discouraged that Congress could not coalesce around a solution in the wake of the ongoing fiscal crisis.”

Those who back Senator Reid’s efforts believe that the US should have passed legislation through Congress before further progress is made by individual states.  They believe that if these states create their own laws for intrastate online poker and gambling, it will be difficult to create an acceptable standard of fair gaming and integrity across the board.  However, Nevada has already started issuing online poker licenses and the first sites are expected to be up and running early in the new year.

Chief of Staff for Reid, David Krone said that the senator would be pushing the bill once more next year, but his enthusiasm seemed to have slightly dimmed.

“Our goal is to definitely try again next year but Senator Reid’s feeling is that after a while there comes a time when you’ve lost momentum, you’ve lost the consensus you’ve built,”  he said. “There will be a window next year, but I don’t see it going long.”

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