Saturday, July 16, 2011 | 3:15 p.m.
The question is what does last week's letter, posted at right, really mean.
On the surface, it appears as if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Whip Jon Kyl want the Justice Department to crack down on web gaming. But the missive actually appears to indicate that Reid and Kyl want an explanation for those poker site indictments and want a reiteration of federal policy vis a vis the Internet. That could be a prelude to a web poker bill Kyl could live with.
Or, as Niels Lesniewski of CQ wrote:
The alliance between Reid and Kyl on the Internet gambling issue is another signal that Kyl, who helped win enactment of the current law (PL 109-347) against online gaming, may take a softer line toward online poker.
Reid and the casino lobby now support legalizing online poker in some form.
Kyl’s website contains a policy statement that opens the door to support for a Reid proposal that would provide a legal framework for online poker under the auspices of existing gaming regulators, such as Native American tribes and states including Nevada. Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, introduced similar legislation (HR 2366) in June.
“Efforts to carve out an exception for games like poker, which many believe is a game of skill, may be considered later this year,” Kyl says on his website. “Until I have the chance to review them, I cannot make a judgment about their merits. But I will consider them carefully as long as they leave in place the broader proscriptions against online betting."