REID STILL COMMITTED TO ONLINE GAMBLING BILL
10th December, 2010 at 01:39:09
"We're still pushing for online poker legalisation," aide confirms
With Senator Harry Reid's attempt to legalise US online poker hitting the mainstream headlines everywhere this week (see previous reports), a story in the Las Vegas Sun caused some temporary anxiety late Wednesday, when it reported that the Nevada senator had halted his legislative drive.
The confusion was short-lived, however, with the Wall Street Journal subsequently confirming with Reid aide Tom Brede that the initiative was still very much alive, and that the Senator's response to two questions at a press conference had been unintentionally merged and therefore misinterpreted.
"Senator Reid's response to the question was that we're still working on it," the Reid staffer said. "The second part was in response to a question he heard of someone asking about the House schedule."
Meanwhile the Reid bill continues to evoke both pro and con opinions, with some Vegas casinos supportive of the senator, and smaller land operators afraid that legalised online poker may adversely impact their businesses in a competitive sense.
Other opponents accuse the Senator of a "pay-back" motive to reward land casino contributors to his recent re-election campaign, and of introducing legislation with the potential to give Nevada land casinos a market advantage over other interested parties.
Las Vegas casino analysts and consultants Union Gaming Group said in a report Wednesday that they estimated the online poker market in the USA would be around $3 billion in 2012, with potential to grow much larger; that would translate into more than $1 billion in earnings split among several large casino companies, with the largest sums likely to go to Caesars Entertainment Corp. (formerly Harrah's Entertainment) and MGM Resorts International, both of which were among Senator Reid's top supporters during his fierce re-election fight this year.
Related News Tags: Land Casinos, Las Vegas, Harrahs