Nebraska Legislature Kills Online Poker Bill
Last week, the Nebraska State Legislature voted down a bill that would have legalized online poker by redefining poker as a game of skill. The bill would not only have benefited supporters of online gambling, but would also have opened the door to poker tournaments to benefit charity groups and other non-profits.
State Senator Tyson Larson, the man behind the bill, saw poker as a means of drawing in new tax revenue for the state, without raising property taxes.
In an interview with the Daily Journal, a small town newspaper in his district, Lawson explained the value of regulated poker saying:
We hear a lot about property tax relief, limited government and the state not getting involved. If we care about those issues, here’s an outside-the-box opportunity to show that we take these things seriously. We can help our local communities and their fundraising efforts.
Opponents of the bill, including Sen. Lydia Brasch, took a less progressive approach towards community fund-raising and focused strictly on the perceived dangers of gambling saying:
We’re going into very dangerous territory here by slowly and surely peeling away that which makes us great, I think this is chance. I’m not willing to bet Nebraska’s future on expanded gambling.
Larson has also said he’d not sure if he’s going to pursue the issue any further.