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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), notable in the poker community for his efforts to get online poker federally legalized, appeared on local TV talk show Nevada Week in Review, hosted by Mitch Fox, on Friday, January 11, 2013.
In keeping with the show’s format, Reid was joined by three other panelists, all members of the Nevada press. Among them was Channel 13 news anchorwoman Rikki Cheese, who asked the Senator specifically about the state of online poker legislation. The brief exchange that followed is transcribed in full underneath.
Rikki Cheese: What is the status now for online poker?
Harry Reid: Well, with legislation, there’s always a sweet spot. I met earlier today with Chairman [Steve] Sisolak. He asked me the same question. We’re gonna continue to try to get this done. We have some opposition we didn’t have earlier. We’ve got the… people who have lotteries are now organized. We’ve got governors now who are opposed to what we’re trying to do. We’re gonna try to thread the needle. It’s gonna be harder to do than it was before.
Cheese: How important is it to the overall economy here in Nevada?
Reid: It would have created thousands of jobs in Nevada, and I hope we can still get it done, because under the legislation I drafted, it would have been really, really good for Nevada, and New Jersey.
Reid’s last comment is especially curious. Why bring up New Jersey in the same sentence as Nevada’s interests when the two states are very openly competing against one another for the chance to become the leading online gaming regulator?
The entire Nevada Week in Review episode with Harry Reid can be viewed here. (Poker part starts at 17:46 mark.)