Sen. Harry Reid Switches Sides in the Great Online Debate

Published December 18, 2014 by Elana K

Sen. Harry Reid Switches Sides in the Great Online Debate

Senator Harry Reid, once an active proponent of online poker, has now stated that he supports a federal ban on internet gambling. Rumors speculate that Reid has sold his support for help in the 2016 elections.

Senator Harry Reid, once an active proponent of legalizing online poker, has suddenly changed his tune. He was recently quoted as telling the Las Vegas Review Journal that, “I think the proliferation of gambling on the Internet is not good for our country. I think it is an invitation to crime. I think it is hard to control for crime when you’ve got brick-and-mortar places, let alone something up in the sky someplace, and it is very bad for children.”

Senator Harry Reid, former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, currently represents the state of Nevada, which boasts Las Vegas as the biggest gambling site in America. Most Las Vegas casinos would welcome online gambling, which Reid knows. Moreover, Reid has supported the legalization of online poker for years, and even tried to pass through a number of bills towards this end.

What Has Changed?

Rumors around Capitol Hill are that Reid has entered into an “understanding” with Sheldon Adelson, the most outspoken opponent of online gambling. Adelson, who has spent millions of dollars on his campaign against the federal legislation of online gambling, had been pushing for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill to be added to the omnibus spending bill during Congress’s lame duck session. (It wasn't.)

So in a mutually beneficial agreement, Adelson offered to help Reid get reelected to his position in the 2016 elections, and Reid offered to help Adelson pass the RAWA bill. Of course, this is all speculation.

In Denial

Reid has denied that any such agreement with Adelson took place; instead he claims that the only way online poker will be legalized is if all other forms are gambling are banned, and poker made the exception to the rule.

If that sounds strange to you, you are not alone.

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