There were attempts made in 2012 to try to put forward proposals to allow for federal legislation which would permit online poker in the United States. Towards the end of last year Senators Harry Reid and J. Kyl did not succeed in their attempt to have Congress pass their proposed bill to legalise online poker.
The main reason for this was a lack of support from other senators and at a recent conference on “Gambling and Risk Taking” held in Nevada, J. Porter a former congressman for the state mentioned that the same lack of support is affecting moves to try to introduce federal legislation to regulate online poker this year too.It now seems likely that two congressmen will put forward separate bills to allow internet poker at federal level. Congressmen King and Barton are both believed to be preparing to introduce their bills so that they might be accepted before the current session of Congress ends. It is probable that such bills would be opposed by different state legislatures and also by lottery companies who would face competition. Legalising internet poker on a federal level would mean that the 4 billion dollars that is now spent in illegal online poker rooms would come back to the states. It is believed that if online poker were allowed under federal law, that it could bring in up to 10 billion dollars in revenue over the next four years.
Many observers of the online gaming industry in the United States claim that a lack of decision making within the gaming industry over the past few years has been to blame for the fact that laws to regulate the sector have not been passed yet. Another reason proposed for the lack of support for the legislation is the fact that within the online gaming industry some important groups such as state lotteries and Native American tribes were not included in the discussions. The land based casinos were also not very supportive of the measures as it would mean further competition in an already difficult market. However Congressman P. King’s proposed bill would give land based casinos a larger part of the online poker market.