Online gambling in Canada is practiced, promoted, and accepted despite the country’s grayish legal position on the activity. The laws in the US are far stricter, with the country making little progress in adopting a more liberalized approach to online gambling that would mirror Canada’s position.
However, two federal bills are currently before Congress that could bring the US into the modern age of gambling. One bill, introduced by Representative Peter King of New York State would authorize a fully regulated national online gambling industry. The other bill, introduced by Representative Joe Barton of Texas would legalize online poker while still prohibiting other forms of gambling.
The two bills are receiving their share of support and opposition, but one voice stands out among many others as important in legalizing digital gaming. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada tried several times to introduce a bill to expand Nevada’s championed online poker market across the country. But opposition from anti-gambling lawmakers, as well as what was described as a lame-duck session of Congress due to the 2012 US election prevented Reid from building enough support to move forward with the process.
The Senate leader has yet to confirm the speculation, but rumours are spreading that the Nevada lawmaker may try once again to introduce a new online poker bill. Pundits close to Reid are hinting the Senator supports a fully regulated online poker market managed by the gaming regulators in Nevada and New Jersey.
The law would still prohibit online gambling besides poker nationally, but would include a clause that grandfathers online gambling sites in states where the practice is already legalized. New Jersey and Delaware are the only states with their own legal online gambling markets, but other jurisdictions such as California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and others are debating whether to follow suit.
The Reid proposal remains pure speculation at this point as the Senator to date has not confirmed what his intentions might be. If Reid chooses not to introduce his own motion, gambling pundits expect the Nevada Senator will support Representative Barton’s online poker bill.