Much more detail is coming out on Senator Harry Reid‘s online poker legalization bill (for a full and complete breakdown, go to Pokerati who is crushing coverage on it here).
Some key bullet points:
:: This is very much in favor of brick & mortar casinos, who were major backers of Reid’s re-election and very much want this bill pushed through. B&M’s would be immediately eligible for licenses.
:: The bill would likely exclude a merger between, say, PokerStars and MGM, where MGM hypothetically would acquire PokerStars players and platform.
:: On that note, B&M’s would have a 15-month window to operate freely without the Stars and Tilt’s of the world taking any of their domestic player share. After that, the Department of Commerce would then have a two-year window to consider what to do with offshores.
:: On that note, the UIGEA would be strengthened, making it harder for offshore operators to do business in the States. If they did, they could probably kiss any chance of obtaining a license goodbye.
:: And as is usually the case, Indian tribes will probably get screwed in this, as preferential treatment will be given to Nevada and AC casinos.
Glad we logged that vote for Reid during the mid-terms.
So why the push now and how and when will it happen? Our best educated guess: Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey intrastate action spurred the Nevada casinos to apply some pressure on Reid and get this moving. Reid would likely have the votes to get this pushed through–although he’ll need to do this in a Fristian way, likely attaching it to something like the extension of the Bush tax cuts–something Republicans wouldn’t dare vote against.
Should be an interesting 10 days or so.
Read more about the latest online poker legalization news in the Las Vegas Review-Journal here.