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Senate Republican Jon Kyl announced he would retire when his term ends at the end of next year. Kyl has been the most persistent opponent when it came to online gambling. He wanted to prohibit Internet gambling in 1998. The end resulted in Kyl agreeing to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006. Kyl was responsible for not allowing Harry Reid to attach poker legislation to any bill during last year’s lame-duck session. With the retirement of Kyl, one would assume that internet poker could get licensed and regulated in 2013. The downside, it is going to be very hard to get internet poker regulated until then.

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Another thing that the poker industry need to watch out for is the possibility of Kyl strengthening the UIGEA before he does leave office. On Kyl’s official website stated “Efforts to carve out an exception for games like poker, which many believe is a game of skill, may be considered later this year. Until I have the chance to review them, I cannot make a judgment about their merits; but I will consider them carefully as long as they leave in place the broader proscriptions against online betting.”

It is going to be interesting to see what unfolds over the next year and a half. We will be looking at this situation and what Kyl does or does not do.

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