Update: Online Poker Legalization Initiative Gets Help from Republican Senator

Senator Heller trying to provide bipartisan support for Kyl-Reid legalization push

After reports that the online poker legalization initiative of Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl has been renewed, a confirmation arrived from Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller that he is trying to provide Republican support for the push, by persuading his fellow Republicans that the idea of federal legalization and enable the US gambling industry to access and cash in on billions of dollars already being wagered online.

quot;I’ve talked to leadership and a couple of colleagues,quot; Heller told the LVRJ, including in the statement Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and leadership deputies Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.

And since it has been assessed that an online poker bill has little chance of passing through Congress on its own, political strategists are now looking for safe legislation to which they can attach the online poker legalization. However, according to Heller, said that such a legislative quot;vehiclequot; has not yet been identified.

He added: quot;There are a lot of discussions going on, not a lot of answers at this point. We’re still talking about the nuts and bolts on this but time is running out.quot;

He also referred to the opposition coming from major Republican Party sponsor and Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson, saying: quot;He has an opinion and obviously that is taken into consideration, and we have to work with it and around it to try to make something happen. I certainly don’t discount his position.

quot;I know what Adelson’s concerns are. He just wants to make sure this is a tight system, that we don’t have problems with illegal gambling or problems with youth getting on and having access to Internet gaming. I think his concerns are legitimate. I want everybody to have a voice in this process, including Mr. Adelson,quot; Heller told the LVRJ.

quot;I don’t see his voice being any stronger or any less important than anybody else. He is just part of the puzzle.quot;

In terms of the timing, Heller opined that since 16 individual states are considering various internet-based gambling possibilities, Congress needs to take the initiative before the end of this year.

quot;It is critical that something happens this year,quot; Heller said, adding: quot;If we get beyond this year, I think that states will have gone too far in their efforts to basically legalize everything.quot;

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