The American Gaming Association (AGA) has urged Congress to take swift action and approve the Reid-Kyl bill during the lame duck session that will end around Christmas.
In a press release issued Monday, the AGA is concerned that without federal legislation, “a state-by-state patchwork of regulations” would not protect those who chose to gamble online. “Without any federal guidelines in place, the result will almost certainly be inadequate oversight that creates a world of unnecessary risk and problems for law enforcement and U.S. consumers,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA.
The AGA’s call for lawmakers to act prior to year’s end mirrors that of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), who last week sent a letter to a handful of Congressmen urging speedy approval of federal legislation. The FOP claims that law enforcement efforts are hampered in attempting to combat problems in relation to unregulated online gambling.
While the AGA and FOP support The Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012, as the Reid-Kyl bill is formally known, many other organizations are lobbying against it. A consortium of state lottery directors and the National Governors Association have spoken out against the measure. Certain individual states such as New Jersey and Delaware have also voiced objections to the proposal that strengthens laws against most forms of Internet gaming while carving out a provision for online poker.
“Congress must establish federal minimum standards that address consumer protection, prevent underage gambling, promote responsible gaming and provide help for those with gambling problems,” Fahrenkopf said. “Throughout the remainder of the current session of Congress, the AGA is reaching out to lawmakers to increase support for legislation and ensure that members of Congress have all the facts about the threat posed by inaction at the federal level,” the press release added.
The Reid-Kyl bill has not yet been introduced in Congress and recent reports indicate that Republican support of the proposal is virtually non-existent.