Although he failed to push bills legalizing online poker, U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Senator Harry Reid is concerned about the proliferation of online gaming in the state-by-state legalization process. Sources tell GGB that Reid is ready to make one more effort to legalize online poker—and prohibit any other form of online gaming.
Some experts believe that Reid wants to see an interstate compact between New Jersey and Nevada before he supports any federal bill that will outline the rights of those states.
“Reid is terrified that California will approve some kind of online gaming,” says a highly placed gaming source. “He believes that will force other states to get into the game and there won’t be any chance to stop that progress.”
Some gaming executives are discouraging any federal moves since the interstate legalization seems to be proceeding relatively smoothly.
“If New Jersey can regulate online gaming effectively and operate it profitably, all bets are off,” he told GGB News.
But there’s also a “nuclear option” reportedly being considered by Reid. One source says Reid is ready to revisit 1962’s Wire Act and insert a provision that specifically prohibits online gaming of any kind. It’s unclear how that would impact the three states that have already legalized some form on online gaming—New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware—but it would certainly end the expansion of the activity.