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Online poker’s prospects run headlong into dysfunctional US political system

TAGs: intrastate poker, Iowa, Poker Players Alliance, Washington State

online-poker-dysfunctional-politics-smallIowa’s intrastate online poker plans will have to wait until next year, following a particularly partisan political knife-fight at the close of the current legislative session. In a classic display of the genius behind the two-party either/or political system, the Republican-controlled House killed all the Democratic-controlled Senate’s pending legislation, and vice-versa. If the SF 458 poker bill has any future at all now, it lies with the state’s Racing & Gaming Commission, which will be asked to undertake a study of online poker and report their findings during the next legislative session – because by then, both parties will be expected to skip merrily through the legislature arm in arm, singing kumbaya in perfect harmony.

Nevada’s proposed intrastate online poker legislation, AB 258, is still living and breathing, but it wouldn’t have been born at all if the state’s man in Washington, Sen. Harry Reid, had his way. Nevada Assemblyman William Horne, who proposed AB 258 on behalf of PokerStars, told AOL News that Reid asked him not to introduce the legislation, as Reid preferred the focus remain on his own pro-poker efforts at the federal level. You know, because they’d been so successful up to this point.

Finally, while other states are at least debating how best to implement online poker, those poor bastards in Washington State are facing Class C felony charges just for playing online. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) staged something of an intervention with almost 50 of the state’s legislators earlier this month, and the results provide stark insights into the American political process. Speaking to PokerNewsDaily, PPA exec director John Pappas said some legislators’ “jaws dropped” when he reminded them of what they’d voted to implement. “They didn’t realize there was such a law on the books.”

Seriously, and politicians wonder why fewer than 50% of voters bother to show up at the polls every other November. Or perhaps that’s the way they prefer it…

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