Nevada Senator Harry Reid is dead set on banning regulated online gambling in the United States before leaving office in 2016.

In a recent interview with Nevada Public Radio, the outgoing politician said he would support a ban on online gambling, but was open to an exemption for poker. “I believe that online gaming is not good for our country,” he said (though he didn’t give much in the way of specifics).

Reid, as you may recall, was an early and outspoken advocate of regulated American online poker and sponsored a bill that regulate igaming at the Federal level. There’s no clear indication as to what accounts for Reid’s flip-flop (though some igaming news sites saw the hand of Shel Adelson in the decision.)

Redid waffled when asked if RAWA, the proposed measure to revive the Federal Wire Act, should include an exemption for online poker saying:

Well, we will see what the legislation does — we will see what the House does. But I think, for the state of Nevada, online gaming is not the direction we should go.

Not surprisingly, online poker supporters were a bit taken back by Reid’s flip-flop. John Pappas of the Poker Player’s Alliance (PPA) seemed as surprised as anyone, saying:

Sen. Reid has been a vocal supporter of Internet poker and the regulation of Internet poker, and I certainly hope that position has not changed. I think there’s clearly one casino interest (Adelson’s) in the state that opposes this, but Mr. Reid does have a lot of other casino interests and home-state employers that are very interested in seeing Internet poker be prosperous.

The good news for online poker enthusiasts is that Reid has not exactly proven himself to be an effective legislator in this area anyways. His multiple attempts at passing Federal online gambling regulation have gone nowhere and, with any luck, his latest crusade will do the same.


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