Online Poker Bill May Be Attached to Obama Tax Cut Plan

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Several Washington insiders were reporting US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was trying to piggyback legislation to legalize and regulate online poker onto a tax cut package President Barack Obama brokered with opposition Republicans earlier this week.

But Reid was quoted following a press conference Wednesday saying that despite last-minute lobbying, his online poker bill would not be on the agenda during this session of congress.

However, later in the day his staff said he still intends to push the legislation through during this session.

Last week, it was widely reported the Nevada Senator was planning to introduce his Internet Poker Act of 2010 before the current lame duck congressional session ends Dec. 17.

A draft copy of the act was leaked to the Las Vegas Review Journal and published by the paper.

Should it ever become law, online poker sites wishing to operate in the US would be forced to obtain a five-year operating license and pay 20% tax on all deposits.

The first license would not be issued for 15 months with current grey-market operators like PokerStars and Full Tilt being forced to cease activity in the US.

For the first two years, licenses would only be issued to current US casino or race track operators and casino slot machine manufacturers.

The U.S. player pool would also be segregated from other players around the globe for a period of three years.

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