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In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, and Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, reportedly will soon introduce similar legislation, though neither will discuss it right now.

A spokesman for Mr. Kyl declined to comment, and a call to Mr. Reid’s office seeking a statement was not returned.

On the surface, it may seem as if AGA members should be vehemently opposed to an expansion of domestic online poker, which, theoretically, could take business away from traditional casinos.

Some, such as casino magnate and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, remain critical of it, but that isn’t the case with everyone, Mr. Fahrenkopf said.

Companies such as Caesar’s, he said, could jump on the Internet poker bandwagon, in the process offering players the security of a world-renowned name in gambling standing behind their money to ensure fair games, timely payouts and no fraud.

Analysts say Internet poker offers newcomers the chance to learn the game at very low stakes and, at least in the short term, online games won’t siphon customers from casinos.

“Internet poker and brick-and-mortar poker are compatible,” Mr. Pappas said.

While that may be true for the foreseeable future, others question whether online gambling eventually could pose serious problems for Mr. Fahrenkopf’s members in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and elsewhere.

“What you might find over a generation or so is that it may have a dramatic impact. As this current generation of young people mature and become increasingly used to gaming online, they may choose different venues,” said Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada at Reno. “It’s a new environment, and nobody is quite sure how it’s going to pan out.”