THE FIGHT: Harry Reid and Jon Kyl Agree on Internet Poker Bill

This week, GamblingCompliance.com reported that Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader from Nevada, and John Kyl, the minority whip from Arizone, have agreed on terms for an Internet poker bill. Although the report said Reid’s office did not respond to requests for comment, it quoted John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, as saying that negotiations between Reid and Kyl are “likely complete.” Reid told GamblingCompliance in January that talks with his Republican counterpart were progressing but declined to elaborate further. A copy of the draft legislation has not emerged, nor has a timeline for its introduction.

Meanwhile, on Monday, a spokesman for Rep. Mary Bono Mack, Republican of California and chair of a House subcommittee tasked with handling Internet gambling issues, told the Associated Press: “[T]here is no consensus moving forward with online poker.” By contrast, Rep. Joe Barton, Republican of Texas and sponsor of an Internet poker bill, said he is “confident this issue will be voted on by the House and Senate in this session.”

On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended that its sister body, the Nevada Gaming Commission, approve Shuffle Master, a gaming equipment manufacturer, for an intrastate Internet poker license. The Commission will hear Shuffle Master’s license application at its next meeting on July 26. Notably, Shuffle Master could become the third American gaming business — behind International Game Technology and Bally Technologies — to be awarded Internet poker licensure in the Silver State. The Control Board is currently reviewing applications from over 30 gaming businesses, including Ongame Network, the European-headquartered Internet poker operator, and Churchill Downs, parent company of BLUFF.

There was no change in the Capitol Hill Co-Sponsor Count. According to GovTrack.us, Barton’s Internet poker bill, HR2366, has 30 supporters, while California Rep. John Campbell’s Internet gambling bill, HR1174, remains close behind with 29.

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