Reid’s iPoker Proposal at Death’s Door

For the last week it seemed like no one in the poker industry wanted to accept the obvious, but with the current lame duck session of the U.S. Congress officially ending tomorrow, the most stalwart proponents of Harry Reid’s late coming online poker proposal have finally been forced to admit that the fight is over and online poker has lost again.

It was a big blow to one of the bill’s most aggressive supporters – the Poker Players Alliance – but their outspoken Executive Director, John Pappas, is still trying to put a positive spin on the loss, as he did on the less than desirable election results earlier this year and on previous poker legislation failures before that. “I think there’s significant momentum going forward. We’ve done a good job of convincing lawmakers that the status quo isn’t acceptable,” said Pappas in an interview with Poker News Daily.

As we reported earlier in the ordeal when Pappas and Reid were still optimistic about the bill’s chances, Pappas openly admitted in a PPA mass-mailing that the Alliance was not happy with Reid’s proposed 15-month blackout on all online poker, but at the time they viewed it as a necessary evil. The silver lining to the bill not passing this session is that the PPA may play a more influential role in the development of future drafts. Pappas confirmed these hopes too.

“We want to make sure that a bill is introduced and that it doesn’t contain some of the offensive language from these drafts,” he also said, no doubt in reference to that same controversial 15-month blackout. For a more in-depth appraisal of the online poker situation in America, you can catch John Pappas’ interview with Bloomberg Television tomorrow at 11:45am ET.

Of course the death of Reid’s bill means little to American poker fans that are already playing online (and even less to international poker players). You will still be able to play at the poker rooms that accept you, you will still be able to make deposits and withdrawals if you follow the current convoluted protocol, and unfortunately you will still be at risk of having your funds seized. On the upside, if all goes well in New Jersey and California, at least some U.S. residents may be privy to fully legalized online poker soon.

The good news for all of MyPokerBasics’ readers is that the death of Reid’s iPoker legislation also means the rebirth of more varied and interesting poker news. Welcome back high stakes ring game recaps and live tournament coverage – we’ve missed you!

Related Entries