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New Federal Bill Banning Online Gambling in the Works

A federal proposal aimed at turning over the DoJ’s 2011 decision that permitted individual states to enact online poker and gambling legislation is reportedly being readied.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is the bill’s sponsor and its introduction may run alongside the anti-online gambling proposal of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Congress will reconvene next week and indications are that both bills will be introduced at that time.

In late 2011, the DoJ ruled that the 1961 Wire Act pertained only to sports betting after Illinois and New York requested clarification of the statute. That allowed Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey to launch online poker and gambling regimes last year, with about a dozen other states considering following suit.

Chaffetz’ proposal seeks to restore the previous long-held policy that found all online gambling to be prohibited under the Wire Act. The Utah lawmaker’s bill mimics that of Graham, as well as the aim of the three-month old Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling funded by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Pro-online gambling forces such as the American Gaming Association, Poker Players Alliance, and the newly-formed Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) are preparing to combat any attempts to ban Internet gambling. C4COP recently completed a three-week media campaign that ran adverts on the websites of high-profile newspapers urging readers to get behind the move to “stop the congressional ban on online gaming.”


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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.