Long blackout period is designed to favor Reid's campaign contributors.
Harry Reid's biggest contributors are the land based casinos (Harrah's,MGM)!

The 15 month US blackout gives his pals a chance to dominate the US market.
Imagine the TV and internet ads that these insanely rich companies will be blasting for months prior to the "official" launch of legal US internet gaming. Full Tilt and PokerStars will not be able to compete.

Every US player will...
1) Do a complete withdrawal of any significant bankroll, and
2) LOSE ANY VIP STATUS THEY HAVE EARNED (FTP - Iron Man, PS - Stars).

We'll all be starting fresh and would be stupid not to follow the fish.