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A couple of obstacles for regulation and legalization of online poker in the United States cropped up this week, making it less likely that legislation will pass this year.

First, Rep. Jim McDermott’s H.R. 2268, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, is not likely to be marked up by the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means this fall, a spokesman for the congressman told PokerNews.com today. The current session of the House ends on Oct. 8, before the congressional mid-term elections in November. A “markup” is where a Congressional committee considers and makes changes to a bill before it is voted on by the committee and eventually sent on to the full House of Representatives, should it pass that committee vote.

This development comes on the heels of last week’s news, when Rep. Barney Frank, the driving force in Congress behind H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, says that the bill likely will not become law during the current session of Congress. Although the bill has already cleared his committee, the House Financial Services Committee, Frank told The Hill, a publication that follows Congress, that the bill probably will not see any action before Congressional elections in November. H.R. 2268 is a companion to H.R. 2267, as it would set up a tax framework should internet gambling and poker become regulated.

It is still possible that the bills could make progress in Congress after the November elections in a “lame-duck” session of Congress, the final session of Congress held before the newly elected members take their posts.

Harry Reid

Also on Tuesday, eGamingReview reported that Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) currently opposes H.R. 2268. Here’s an excerpt from that story:

According to a statement released by Reid’s office to BolaVerde Media Group: “Senator Reid has long had concerns about Internet gaming. He does not support any of the existing bills and he would oppose any proposal that would put jobs in Nevada at risk.”

Some speculate that Reid might support a bill that legalizes and regulates online poker, only, and excludes other types of online gaming. Reid is up for re-election in November; if the Democrats retain control of the Senate and Congress, Reid’s support for any legislation will be necessary.


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