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Congressional Caucus to Focus on Gambling

Two federal legislators are heading a Congressional Gaming Caucus to get their fellow congressmen more involved with the gambling industry.

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson (D) and Nevada Rep. Joe Heck (R) received approval last month from the House Administration Committee to revive the caucus to keep lawmakers talking and informed about the gambling industry. The pair sent letters to fellow legislators recently, urging their colleagues to become members, delawareonline.com reported.

Although Heck and Thompson are not proposing any legislative efforts at this time, they cited the overwhelming number of jobs that gambling expansion endeavors are creating in various states throughout the U.S. That includes online poker and gambling, which has been passed by three states thus far and considered in a number of others.

Heck stated that he would like to keep gaming issues at the “forefront of the congressional conversation and advance responsible federal policies that will allow the gaming industry to continue to thrive as the national job-creating engine it is.”

Statistics from 2010 show that more than 815,000 jobs opened up in gaming in over 200 congressional districts. With more land-based casinos expected to be added and online gambling also on the front burner, even more opportunities exist for the economy to be strengthened via gaming positions.

“If we truly want to promote economic development and jobs, we must begin to work with businesses that exist in the communities we serve – like the commercial gaming industry,” said Thompson.

The American Gaming Association, representing 513 casinos all over the U.S., is totally behind the efforts to revive the caucus. “The time is ripe with the growth of the industry and its expansion for there to be something like this” on the federal level, said AGA spokeswoman Holly Wetzel.

Individual state legislatures continue to entertain various online gaming proposals due to the DoJ ruling in December 2011 that found the 1961 Wire Act as being applicable to only sports betting. While the push for state regulations is highly encouraging, legislation on the federal level is viewed as a much more workable solution that would alleviate a myriad of problems likely to be encountered on a state-by-state framework.

 

 

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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