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WSJ: Senators Push for Bill to Advance Online Poker

As Congress debates the federal budget, a Democratic senator strongly backed by Nevada casino interests and a Republican senator staunchly opposed to betting are working together to push an online-gambling bill into the mix.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl are seeking language in a legislative package during the lame-duck session that could expand some forms of online wagering and would limit others. Among other things, the bill would create an Office of Online Poker Oversight under the Department of Commerce.

The initiative has long been discussed behind closed doors but never publicly introduced. It would create a federal system for online poker, something casino operators have pushed for in recent years. At the same time, it would prevent states from legalizing nearly every other type of online gambling, including sites run by state lotteries.

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