The battle to legalize online poker in the US has hit yet another snag.
Harry Reid of Nevada continues to battle to pass federal legislation to legalize online poker but he continues to face roadblocks at every turn.
Reid's latest obstacle comes in the form of fellow Nevada Senator Dean Heller, who Reid claims had previously promised him that he could deliver Republican support for a bill Reid crafted that would strengthen safeguards against most forms of online gambling but provide a carve-out for legal online poker.
Reid introduced the legislation but Heller has so far failed to deliver the promised votes, leading to a war of words between the two and growing doubts that Reid has enough support to pass a bill that would include legalizing online poker.
The two have sparred over the best approach to get a bill passed, with Reid insisting that the Senate should be the area of focus to try to get the bill passed, while Heller claims that he and Reid agreed that the House should act first.
Congress is currently in recess until after the Presidential election, so any hopes of passing a bill will come during the lame duck session until the end of 2012. Typically a quiet time for legislative efforts, some feel it may be the best (and possibly last) chance to get a poker-friendly bill on the books, with the possibility of a Republican-controlled Congress coming into effect into 2012.
In the past Reid has managed to deliver for his home state of Nevada and many supporters and casino execs are banking on just that when it comes to online poker.
Many brick-and-mortar casinos resisted Internet poker in the beginning but more and more are now touting it as one of their best chances to reinvigorate gambling in Las Vegas, which has struggled to regain the gambling mojo it had in the early 2000s.