Harry Reid Raises the Poker Stakes
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has raised the stakes in the battle to legalize online poker. He attempted to brand Senator Dean Heller a failure by stating that passing an online poker bill was “the most important issue facing Nevada since the Yucca Mountain”. By saying such, he has elevated the legislation to a defining part of his own legacy – as significant, in his mind, as freeing the state of a nuclear waste repository.
Is the legislation so important? The effort to legalize online poker whilst still banning all other forms of online gambling is a difficult one, and if Reid fails in the effort, it could seriously impact on the state’s gaming revenue as fewer Americans head to the state to experience real life games.
Casino executives are banking on Reid’s ability to deliver – in their own words, if he doesn’t, they’re ruined. Reid is facing a struggle rounding up enough votes to push the bill, however, and has come under attack for his difficulties. Kristen Orthman said of Reid’s attempt, “Let’s be clear, Sen. Reid has lived up to his part of the agreement and has the votes on his side in support of this bill. the premise of the questions speaks more to the ineffectiveness of those tasked with whipping up the Republican votes. Time and again no one fights harder for Nevada than Sen. Reid and he has the record to back it up.”