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Online Poker Not Part Of Federal Payroll Tax Bill

Federal Online Poker Will Have To Wait

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Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidAccording to Politico, licensing and regulating online poker at the federal level will have to wait, after a senior staff member confirmed on Wednesday that the measure will not be included in the payroll tax bill, which will extend tax cuts and unemployment benefits.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) planned to propose an amendment to the bill to include online poker regulation, but the last ditch effort fell short when it became apparent that it could put the entire legislation in jeopardy.

Nevada is moving closer to the first licensed intrastate online poker sites, but many gaming lobbyists are pushing for federal legislation before other states decide to follow suit. President Obama’s anticipated jobs bill may be the next opportunity for online poker to break through at the federal level later this year or lawmakers may decide to wait for a lame-duck session to introduce the bill with no accompaniment.

The American Gaming Association prefers a federal bill to state by state legislation, but the proposal worries Native American tribes and state lottery operators, who feel that online poker will cannibalize their revenue.

AGA President and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf said that any online poker legislation at the federal level should be structured to balance the issues facing both states and the tribes.

Reid’s office did not return Card Player’s request for comment.