The chances of the Reid-Kyl online poker bill gaining approval in the lame duck session of Congress took another hit when Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole told a gathering of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) that no Internet gaming bill will be attached to “fiscal cliff” legislation.
“On the Republican side so far — talking to our speaker and our leaders — there is not going to be a gaming law in the final deal,” Cole insisted. “They’re not including Internet gaming. They have been crystal clear about that in private.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is in talks with President Obama on a bill to prevent spending cuts and tax increases in order to stop a possible recessionary slide, GamblingCompliance reported. It was believed by many that Reid-Kyl’s best chances of passing were as a rider to such a bill. However, those prospects are dying.
In addressing tribal officials, Cole reminded them to “stay fully mobilized” against the Reid-Kyl bill. “We need to make sure the biggest engine for economic development in Indian Country is protected,” Cole said.
The tribes have suggested a number of proposals to the Reid-Kyl proposal that include NIGA oversight of tribal online poker operations, the prohibition of federal taxes on revenue generated by tribal Internet gambling, and that all Indian tribes receive eligibility to offer online poker without requiring minimum standards on the size of existing land-based casinos and the games offered.
Several Democratic congressmen have sided with Republicans in criticizing the Reid-Kyl proposal as being much too favorable to Nevada casinos. Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran evoked laughter from the NIGA crowd by saying, “I guess if I was cynical, I would think maybe it’s [Reid-Kyl] been written by some folks out of Las Vegas.”
Although the American Gaming Association and Fraternal Order of Police have recently urged Congress to take swift action on the Reid-Kyl bill, there continues to be too much strong opposition and not enough support for a federal online poker bill to succeed in 2012.