2011 not only ushered in a new, much more Republican Congress, but also ushered in new questions in the poker community about online poker legislation. With the start of the New Year, all hopes of 2010 poker legislation being passed have been wiped clean. Is there any chance that the new government will recognize online poker as a legitimate activity, like investing in the stock market or trading options?
Up until now Barney Frank has served as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Frank had a very strong positive attitude towards the passage of online poker legislation and gave the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) some hope. However, the committee is now chaired by republican Spencer Bachus from Alabama, who seems to be very unyielding on his opposition of online gambling.
Executive director of the PPA, John Pappas, hopes that Senator Harry Reid from Nevada will help to conduct federal legislation in the field of online gambling. He says, “I think it’s clear that Senator Reid will continue to be a major player on this issue. Any time the Senate Majority Leader takes notice on an issue, we will need to continue working with his office. If his bill is leading the way, that means the House becomes kind of a secondary body for us to work in. I think for sure the Financial Services Committee will no longer be the leading body in this jurisdiction.”
But will Reid be enough to have online poker recognized as legal? Only time will tell, and it should be quite interesting to follow coverage on this matter as the year progresses.