Manatt Government Partner Quoted on Internet Poker Bill

Manatt Government Partner Quoted on Internet Poker Bill

"McConnell a Key Figure in Internet Poker Debate, Say Lobbyists"
Gambling Compliance

October 3, 2012 - Gambling Compliance quoted Manatt's June DeHart, a partner in the firm's Government & Regulatory Division, on the likelihood of an online poker bill passing this year.

Gambling Compliance reports that Congress may try to pass an Internet poker bill after the November 6 elections, even if Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky becomes the new Senate Majority Leader. McConnell, who is the current Republican Senate Minority Leader, is likely to be a central figure in determining the fate of the bill. Current Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who supports the bill, canceled a meeting with McConnell after sensing the two couldn't make a deal on Internet poker.

Some industry experts think that any chance of the bill passing this year has been killed by an argument between Reid and Republican Senator Dean Heller.

However, DeHart minimized last month's "open feud" between Reid and Heller. "They'll get past this, and they'll try to get it done," she said. "One of the things that makes me a little optimistic about it is just that the news from talking to people on the Hill is that they're laying the groundwork," DeHart said. "They're trying to tee it up." DeHart thinks the Internet poker bill will start in the Senate before moving to the House.

DeHart said Senate Republicans may be inclined to support the bill because of their high regard for Republican Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, who is retiring at the end of the year.

The House is much more problematic, DeHart said, but "they may just throw up their hands and vote for it because they don't want to deal with it next year."

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