Reid Wants to Legalize Online Poker

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Despite opposing online gambling in the past, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid now supports a bill to legalize poker playing on the Internet, according to the Wall Street Journal. While Nevada casino companies argue that the bill would provide tax revenue for federal and state governments, Republicans say it takes advantage of the weak and the vulnerable. If Reid has enough sway to pass the measure, here's what might happen:

The legislation would overturn a bill passed in 2006 that bans financial institutions from processing online-gambling transactions. ...

According to the draft of the bill reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Reid's office is considering language that would allow only existing casinos, horse tracks and slot-machine makers to operate online poker websites for the first two years after the bill passes, which could limit the ability of other companies to enter the market.

The bill would also outsource oversight to state regulators, another move supported by existing casinos that don't want to see the federal government become overly involved in regulating their industry.

The bill as drafted would send taxes on wagers to both federal and state governments.

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.
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Annie Augustine is a fellow at AtlanticLIVE.

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