Online gambling legislation gaining traction
By Vin Narayanan
According to a report on the politics news Web site NationalJournal.com, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) is pushing Rep. Sander Levin to schedule a markup session for the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010 (IGRTA). McDermott's tax bill is a companion bill to Rep. Barney Frank's legislation that would create a licensing and regulatory framework for online gambling. Frank's bill was passed by the House Financial Services Committee last month.
Levin, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, has not decided whether McDermott's tax bill should be marked up, according to NationalJournal.com. If the tax bill is marked up and passed, a full floor vote on both the Frank and McDermott bills could be schedule before the House goes on break in October to campaign for the November elections.
While Levin hasn't decided whether to schedule a markup session, another powerful Democrat has indicated for the first time that he's willing to consider limited online gambling legislation.
The Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is willing to support legislation that would regulate online poker -- and online poker only.
Reid told casino executives of his new position at a meeting last week, according to the Gazette-Journal.
This is the first time Reid has publically supported any form of online gambling. He is also the highest-ranking Democrat to support a form of online gambling.
The Frank bill takes a much more expansive view of online gambling than Reid does. Frank's legislation would license online poker, online casinos and online bingo. Sports betting would remain illegal.