According to the Poker Players Alliance executive director, John Pappas, the bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would legalize, tax, and regulate online poker in the U.S. is all but dead. Pappas told Poker News Daily that, “when the tax package fell through and things became much more political for it – not related to our bill – it became clear that another controversial addition to the tax bill could sink it.”
This news comes two weeks after word first broke that the Senate may try to legalize online poker using the same surreptitious means that former Senator Bill Frist used in 2006 to pass the UIGEA. Senator Reid’s plan was to attach a pro-online poker measure to a “must-pass” tax relief bill. This plan was scrapped as part of a concession Reid made to Republicans on aspects of the bill not related to online poker.
Harry Reid’s failure to force through pro-online poker legislation comes as pretty devastating news to the poker world as this appeared to be poker’s best chance at gaining legal status in the U.S. since the UIGEA was signed into law. Any realistic hopes of online poker becoming legal in the U.S. now once again appear to be years away from fruition.