It was all just one big bluff.
Harry Reid, who had hoped to fold a provision legalizing online poker into the tax cut compromise or the omnibus spending bill, has instead just decided to fold.
The Senate Majority Leader deeply disappointed proponents of online poker earlier this week when he failed to slip language legalizing online gambling into the tax cut bill. His decision late last night to bow to political pressure and pull the trillion-dollar spending bill from Senate consideration during the lame-duck session effectively ended any last hope of beating back the ban on online gambling.
The odds that a Republican-run House will do anything to rescind the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act are next to nothing.
Representatives Spencer Bachus, Dave Camp, and Lamar Smith, who oppose any effort to legalise online gambling and wrote a letter to Reid to express their dismay with his draft bill, will likely all chair committees with jurisdiction over online gambling in the next Congress. Speaker-to-be Boehner has not only voted against online gambling in the past; his website still touts the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act as an accomplishment.
Even speculators at Intrade, all too aware that when it comes to online gambling the House always wins, are no longer betting on a repeal.
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