Reid’s bill sought to legalize and regulate online poker in order to provide much needed tax revenue at both the state and federal level. There was hope that it could be attached to President Obama’s tax bill, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyle made it clear that the bill would face strong opposition.
“I think Senator Reid made a very good-faith effort to try and get the bill in a form that would be acceptable to be added to the tax bill that Congress did end up passing last evening,” said Pappas. “Those negotiations broke down last Thursday evening into Friday morning. At that time, we knew the bill wasn’t going to be able to go into the tax bill and that the opportunity to get a bill done this year was very limited.”
With this legislation failing, it means business will continue as usual at existing gaming companies who were threatened with the possibility of a blackout had the bill passed. The PPA hopes that Reid will push for online poker legislation in the new year, but that will be difficult after the Republican Party takes control of the House of Representatives.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who is pro-online gambling, will most likely lose his seat to Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus, who is strongly against online poker legislation. Because of this potential roadblock, the PPA is hoping that legislation moves in a different direction away from the Financial Services Committee.