K Street and Capitol Hill are also moving closer than ever before to a deal to legalize online gaming — something that’s long simmered on the back burner but that may pass in the lame duck.
The story of how online gambling might be tackled this Congress underscores the complex negotiations to get things done.
Opponents to the bill — including professional sports associations and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — have softened their opposition, according to sources involved in the negotiations.
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) have been moving toward an agreement to legalize online gaming — many states have pre-empted them and moved on their own. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still opposed, making an immediate agreement elusive. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is facing a tough race in November against Las Vegas Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, has been tasked with finding Republican votes for the bill. He has been unable to so far, according to sources involved in the negotiations.
Onlookers know that the ground is softening — and the hurry of the lame duck could be the perfect opportunity.
“I think there’s a lot of reason to believe why there should be a bill done sooner than later,” Poker Players Alliance head John Pappas said. “Even those in Congress who are opposed to Internet gaming recognize to do nothing would only worsen the problem.”
State regulations might work for awhile, but, for the long run, Congress must step in to ensure that there is a single set of regulations nationwide that require online casinos to meet as high a standard as those brick-and-mortar casinos in Nevada must meet.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) told PI this morning that he believes the online gaming bill has about a 60-to-40 percent chance of passing before the end of the year. "It's not a slam dunk, but it's viable," he said.
LAS VEGAS, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cantor Gaming® and Horse Racing United today announced they have entered into an exclusive provisional agreement under which Cantor Gaming, subject to pending state legislature approval, would provide Horse Racing United the technology and supporting infrastructure required for a world-class intrastate Internet poker platform, capable of offering online poker wagering to registered players in the State of California.