Nevada Senator Harry Reid has been saying for a long time that he would do whatever is best for his home state in terms of online gambling. For quite a few years what this meant was taking a strong stand against Internet gambling when it has been talked about in Washington between federal lawmakers.
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However, now there are many gambling and economic experts that are under the belief that the casino industry in Las Vegas may, in fact, benefit if they changed their views on the legalization of online gambling. The stance of Reid may become very important in the upcoming fight in Congress in terms of the legalization and regulation of the Internet gambling industry in the United States.
U.S. Representative Barney Frank has been the main politician that wants to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The UIGEA came into effect under the Bush Administration back in 2006, but the law has still not been enforced.
The UIGEA was slated to begin the enforcement phase on December 1st of this year. However, the Department of the Treasury recently delayed the act’s implementation until June 1st of next year (2010). What this does is give Frank more time in order to sway other lawmakers into thinking that reversing the Internet gambling ban would be a good thing for the United States and its citizens.
One of the lawmakers will be Senator Reid, who carries a lot of weight in the U.S. Senate. In past years there would be zero chance that Reid would have stood behind regulating the Internet gambling industry, but his views may be changing.
Many gambling analysts are under the belief that the casino industry in Las Vegas would actually benefit if the online gambling industry were regulated. The thinking is that the companies that own the casinos would have first crack at getting the licenses, which would be needed in order to offer online gambling to residents of the United States.
The views of the casino companies have varied even though it is the case that casino revenue is down with the slumping economy in America hurting the gambling industry. Wynn Resorts does not want to regulate online gambling while Harrah’s has already stated that they are in favor of it.
It will take some time for lawmakers in the U.S. to deal with the complicated details of regulating the online gambling industry. However, before that can happen Reid has to make a stance on one side or the other of the issue. The gambling industry will be watching this very closely and will have to side with Reid. A vote for the legalization and regulation of the Internet gambling industry may be the kick in the pants that Vegas needs to revive the gambling economy in the city, which is vital.