Letter from ARTHUR L. GLEASON, JR., President & CEO of Kentucky Lottery Corp. to US Senator Mitch McConnell re: Draft Reid - Kyl Bill Regulating Interstate iPoker

by Ian Imrich
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November 2, 2012, Letter from ARTHUR L. GLEASON, JR., President & CEO of Kentucky Lottery Corporation to US Senator Mitch McConnell re: Draft Reid - Kyl Bill Regulating Interstate iPoker and Proscribing other forms of iGaming.

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For reasons outlined by Gleason within his letter, the Kentucky Lottery has again requested that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell oppose the adoption of the proposed Internet gaming legislation as currently crafted by US Senators Reid and Kyl.

According to US Senator Reid staffers and spokespeople, the Draft Bill leaked to the media (as well as a leaked summary thereof) is not a finished product but a work in progress that is being negotiated with various stakeholders who have been monitoring potential federal regulatory scenarios with respect to both iPoker and iGaming in the US.

Now that the US Presidential and certain key US Congressional elections have occurred, I would expect further ongoing discussions between the State, Tribal, and Federal players within the gaming sectors, as well as with other powerful interests who would be impacted by potential regulatory activity as continues to be contemplated on the national level by Senators Reid and Kyl for the better part of two years now.

With this letter, we might want to pose a few questions. Why, for example, did the KLC send this to key Republican Senator McConnell a few days ago before the US elections? Who are all of the other "stakeholders" (as Senator Reid's spokeswoman and staffers have recently noted) that are undoubtedly behind the scenes negotiating with Senator Reid to address their respective concerns within his Bill?

Some endemics in the gaming sector have commented that opposition to Reid-Kyl Draft Bill appears muted, that missives by the National Governors Association and a couple State run lotteries are merely blips on the political radar. Perhaps. But if it quiet out there in the political mainstream (maybe too quiet), is it also quiet in the smoke-filled backrooms where the legislative deals are really done?

It might be salient to ponder as well which stakeholders and interests win and which ones lose as the actual Reid-Kyl Bill in final form emerges, perhaps as late as the 11th hour during the lame duck session? Rarely does everybody win in this context.

Or does it matter anyway because as some commentators have opined, powerful opposition (be it stealth or otherwise) is likely to derail Senator Reid's federal efforts to regulate iPoker and proscribe other iGaming - as lead singer Blondie once crooned - "One Way or Another..." Or conversely, will legislative deals cut be enough to get this Bill in through the US Congress in some fashion before even more US States do so themselves?

There are obviously multiple moving parts here and all those concerned will be closely watching things at the US federal level -- of course, assuming they are not carefully and cleverly doing so already -- to see what shows up in any Bill that is ultimately dropped.

-IJI

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