Anyone that knows how Washington D.C. works should have smelled a rat when online poker operations were recently busted. Tim Carney has dug out the facts:
...a suspicion that I've had since the FBI shut down the three big online poker hubs. Was this bust partly about protecting government-enforced monopolies like Harrahs (owned by Caesars) and the tribal casinos? When the casinos are looking for a friend in Washington, the obvious go-to-guy is Harry Reid, whose re-election they supported in extraordinary ways.
After the casino shuttle busses ran, and Reid won reelection, he started pushing legislation to legalize online poker for only:
providers that have an established track record of complying with a strict regulatory environment, have an established track record of providing fair games to consumers, and have significant goodwill and assets at stake, in addition to their Internet poker assets, to ensure they would comply strictly with the new regulatory regime.
In other words, Reid wanted to give his friends a monopoly. Clearing out the competition first sure helps. Don't be surprised to see Reid's bill move soon, and if it passes, the big casinos dominate the industry.
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