A lobbyist’s draft of a bill to legalize online poker in the U.S. is being circulated in Washington.
Nevada Senator Dean Heller told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he has been briefed on the bill by Caesars Entertainment Corp. lobbyist Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi and head of the Republican Party.
Caesars, which operates three WSOP.com online poker sites in Nevada and New Jersey, reportedly wrote the draft bill. The bill would only allow poker and ban other types of casino games, the newspaper reports.
Heller, however, told the paper that the issue is still taking shape in Congress and there is no rush to embrace a specific bill.
“There’s something floating around,” Heller told the Review Journal. “I don’t have it, I’m not carrying it, and I don’t think Senator Harry Reid’s office is carrying it either.”
Heller and Reid are working as a team on online gambling, which has set off a contentious debate in the casino industry. For example, the American Gaming Association, the industry’s lobbying group, recently announced it was withdrawing from the debate.
“We will treat it like any other proposal,” Heller told the paper. “We’ll take a look at it, we’ll read it and determine whether or not it is something we can support. I’d like to get all these ideas on the table at one time and move in the appropriate direction.”