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R.I.P., Harry Reid Internet Poker Bill

To no one’s great surprise, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s last-minute proposal to alter the UIGEA and install new online poker regulations in the United States now seems to be officially kaput.

The measure to remove online poker from the UIGEA restrictions was expected to be attached to an “omnibus” spending package. But Reid cancelled the entire omnibus yesterday, per the Las Vegas Sun, rendering “all amendments that might have been attached to the bill — including, potentially, the legalization of online poker — dead, likely for the remainder of this Congress.”

ESPN had called the bill dead on Wednesday evening, but without a direct quote from Reid or his office.

In recent days, much more opposition to the bill had been seen, as illustrated by this letter to the editor of the Las Vegas Sun and this press release from the Pennsylvania Lottery calling for the measure’s defeat.

Even Simpsons co-creator (and avid poker player) Sam Simon even weighed in against Reid’s proposal, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal that “the idea that the United States could decide that only casinos — (Reid’s) supporters — could own online poker sites is beyond belief …

“This is giving a monopoly to your friends. That is to the detriment of everyone who wants to have fun playing poker.”

“[Reid’s] efforts to get the bill approved in the rush of lame-duck congressional business is bad policy, and his colleagues on both sides of the issue and both sides of the aisle would be wise to stage an intervention to stop him,” the Salt Lake Tribune chimed in.