Los Angeles, CA
Harry Reid needed a few favors in November. The career politician found himself in a bind when his seat in the senate was threatened by the Tea Party movement. His re-election bid was in jeopardy, but luckily he secured much-needed campaign funding late in the game to put him over the top. Reid won the election and retained his seat in the senate. Voting blocks don't come for free. I'm sure old Harry made a few promises along the way to push through favorable legislation to whatever entities helped him secure a victory.
Obviously, one of those groups holding a Reid marker are the Nevada gaming corporations along with the horse racing industry. Land-based casinos are the ones who will benefit the most financially in the short term with his proposed online poker bill. Two of Reid's biggest campaign contributors were MGM Resorts International and Harrah's Entertainment.
The bill would permit race tracks will be able to open up online poker rooms as well. The racing industry is doomed when all of the baby boomers die off because the track was a gambling activity catered to my parent's generation and my grandparent's generation. Adding slot machines to race tracks isn't enough to save their industry's troubled future. They might be able to flourish if they have online poker revenue to off-set race track operational losses.
If Reid's bill passes when it goes up to vote, then online poker rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt might find themselves waiting on the sidelines for a couple of years to obtain a gaming operator license in the U.S., meanwhile Vegas casinos have a green light to open up their own online poker rooms and gobble up the marketshare.
I wish I had more to say about the matter, but I've been busy reading financial reports about the European sovereign debt crisis and hoarding silver over the last few days. I haven't had the chance to read the entire bill, but luckily my colleagues have more time and understand these matters better than I do. I strongly suggest that you read F-Train's astute analysis of the bill. He's a lawyer and can interpret all of this legalese better than I can.
Here's a few items of note regarding Reid's online poker bill...
Draft of Reid's Online Poker Bill (Google Docs)Feel free to leave any other pertinent info and links in the comments section.
Quick and Dirty Summary of Harry Reid's Internet Poker Bill (Riding the F Train)
Quick and Dirty Summary of (Version 2!) of Harry Reid's Internet Poker Bill (Riding the F Train)
Harry Reid's Holiday 'Thank Yous' (Wall Street Journal)
The Poker Beat: The Reid Bill Episode (Pokerati)
Getting a Reid on the Situation: On the "Prohibition of Internet Gaming, Internet Poker Regulation and UIGEA Enforcement Act" (Hard-Boiled Poker)
Reid Pushing Plan to Legalize U.S. Online Gambling (2+2)
#reidbill: A Haiku (Pokerati)
Analyst: '1-to-3 shot' to legalize online poker (Philadelphia Inquirer)