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Reid's Lead

Senate Majority Leader considering approving an online gaming bill

Reid's Lead

American Gaming Association President and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf has long said that Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid holds the key to any gaming legislation in Congress, including any online gaming bills.

It now appears that Reid is willing to support a measure that would legalize online poker in the U.S. The Reno Gazette Journal recently reported that at an August meeting with regional casino executives, Reid said he would support online poker but draw the line at any other form of casino gaming on the web.

Previous reports had Reid’s staff looking into the issue of online gaming, but a press secretary for the majority leader said he would not support any measure that would cost Nevada jobs. The spokesman said online poker is not “high on the priority list.”

The newspaper quoted Harrah’s VP for Government Affairs Jan Jones as supporting Reid’s legalization of online poker.

“If you look at the businesses that are surviving today, they approach their customers in three ways,” said Jones. “One is brick and mortar. One is direct marketing sales, and the other is the internet. The businesses that have not done that have gone out of business. Look at record stores. Look at newspapers.

“In the gaming industry, we need to realize, where are the X-Y generation customers? They are all on the internet. That is where they play.”

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