Here's a good new interview with Joe Brennan, Jr. on recent developments and momentum in federal and state internet gambling legislation:
I found Joe's perspective to be very interesting and discouraging. To attempt to paraphrase some of the points that really stuck with me:
Even IF legislators recognize that a poker-only approach would be best at the Federal level rather than state-by-state, none of them want to be seen as depriving revenue from their home states. Therefore, legislators are discouraged from a Federal online gambling bill, and momentum shifts to the state bills. Then, once things are confined to the state level, the revenue from casino gambling and lotteries gets way bigger than the potential revenue from poker, especially given that an intrastate player pool would limit the profitability of poker for a state. So poker could end up being an afterthought in the state bills in terms of how rules, taxes, laws are set. All while poker could have been much more successful and beneficial of a product if done at the state level, but its entanglement with traditional gambling and its being monopolized by traditional gambling interests ends up being worse for everyone.
Federal solutions allowing interstate pooling between states that pass their own laws would help this, but would still just take longer, and the state-by-state tax rates and regulatory structures could still end up being worse for poker this way.
Presupposed here is that a Federal all-gambling (rather than poker-only) solution may not be palatable. So, the most discouraging part of this to me is that, even if every legislator knew how poker is distinct from other gambling, with the momentum currently in place, they'd be serving their own interests better by keeping poker confined to tagging along behind casino gambling. Dunno if there's anything we can learn from this to try and shape the process.