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Online poker legislation is still a longshot

Poker fans all over American suddenly become interested in politics now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to slip in a provision legalizing online poker into the tax cut compromise.

Now some lawmakers want to allow U.S.-based casino companies to get into the game — and a cut of the $25 billion-a-year pie — by quietly pushing for a change in the law before the end of this year.

A draft bill, first reported by the Wall Street Journal and obtained by ABC News, would legalize online poker playing in the U.S., and establish licensing and reporting requirements for companies, as well as safeguards for consumers. It would also generate tax revenue from wagers, for state and federal governments.

Forms of online gambling other than poker would remain prohibited under the bill.

Legalization of online poker forums has long been sought by the U.S. casino industry which says federal gaming regulations have unfairly handicapped their business in a flourishing online marketplace and left American consumers vulnerable.

The problem is that the bill is rigged to favor established casino interests in Nevada, so you have many saying the bill isn’t fair and that it’s a payback to Reid’s campaign supporters.

That said, it’s ridiculous that millions of Americans are prohibited from participating in an activity they enjoy.

Where does it stand now? Many Republicans are against it – they want to tell you how you can live our life.

But Harry Reid insists he still pushing the deal in the lame-duck session. It’s an uphill climb, but anything can happen.

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