Reid, Heller sing kumbaya; bookies need to react faster; NFL says no bong for you


reid-heller-online-poker-billA re-elected President Obama may have dissed cynicism in Tuesday night’s acceptance speech, but Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave cynics a welcome boost with his comments following the razor-thin re-election of Nevada’s other senator, Republican Dean Heller. During the campaign, Reid had done his best to paint Heller as having let Nevada down via his alleged inability to drum up GOP support for Reid’s online poker bill. But that was then, this is now. Reid told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Steve Tetrault that he has “affection for Dean Heller. I like him a lot. We’ll be able to work together.” As for the online poker comments, Reid’s already forgotten it. “As far as big blow-ups, that’s so minor in my life. Okay?” Heller is also downplaying the campaign squabbling. “He had a job to do and I had a job to do … we’ll solve the problems Nevada faces and we’ll do it together.”

The Democrats’ majority in the Senate increased slightly on Tuesday, but fell well short of the 60-votes needed to overcome the filibuster that inhibits every new piece of major legislation these days. Regardless, Reid’s office has compiled a long list of unfinished legislative business it intends to push during the lame duck session of Congress, including the cybersecurity act, which speculation tips as a likely vehicle to which Reid could attach his online poker bill. But the GOP is showing no indication it intends to alter its ongoing pattern of obstructionism.

Over in the House of Representatives, one of the more vocal obstacles to Reid’s plan failed to win reelection on Tuesday. California Rep. Mary Bono-Mack, who had zealously defended her state’s powerful tribal gaming interests against Reid’s previous attempts to cut them out of the federal poker pie, lost her Palm Springs seat to Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz. Adding insult to injury, Bono-Mack’s husband, Florida Rep. Connie Mack, was also defeated on Tuesday.

Irish bookie Paddy Power’s PR-savvy decision to pay out early on an Obama victory made them look good on Tuesday, even if their ad in the Irish Times touting their stated rationale that GOP candidate Mitt Romney was neither “black, or cool” seemed a bit OTT. But one bettor suggested bookies that offer political props need to do a better job of updating their odds in relation to movements at prediction markets like Intrade. Portuguese MIT MBA student André Judice Gloria told PBS that “the biggest contributors to my Christmas bonus were the betting sites” who weren’t “taking into account the real time adjustments that occur” on sites like Intrade. “This allowed me to take advantage of ‘old’ prices on those sites and arbitrage against ‘new’ prices on Intrade.”

Gloria said his most lucrative trades came during Obama’s lackluster performance at the first debate. “Prices adjusted on Intrade about 30 minutes into the debate. Betting sites took about one hour to update their odds. It was during that half hour that I did the most profitable trades.” But hey, US election betting is still a relatively new phenomenon. By 2016, we expect sportsbooks to be offering in-play props during the debates. “Which of Chris Christie’s armpits will sweat through his suit jacket first? Bet now!”

Finally, the No Fun, er, National Football League wants its players to know that despite voters in Colorado and Washington approving the legalization of marijuana within their borders, players who travel to play the Broncos or Seahawks still can’t blaze up a fat post-game doobie in the locker room. NFL spokesman/killjoy Greg Aiello said “marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program” and that the new laws “will have no impact on the operation of the policy.” We expect NFL morality cops in Denver and Seattle will be watching visiting teams’ quarterbacks closely to see if they call a lot of unnecessary time-outs at the line of scrimmage. “Dude… What was the play again?”