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State Lawmaker Organization Opposes Ban on Online Gambling

Last week’s federal proposal to ban online gambling is receiving increased opposition as the latest organization to voice their disapproval to Sheldon Adelson’s crusade is the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The NCSL penned a letter denouncing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act that was introduced about 10 days age by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The letter was sent to each member of Congress and calls the anti-online gambling measure “a solution seeking a problem.”

Graham and Chaffetz are attempting to further the efforts of Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Interrnet Gambling with the proposal that takes aim at the DoJ’s re-clarification of the Wire Act in 2011. It was that ruling that permitted states to follow the road currently being traveled that calls for each to decide on their own whether or not to enact online poker and gambling legislation.

With Oregon Sen. Bruce Starr leading the way, the NCSL believes that the “sovereignty of states” should be respected and takes offense at the attempted prohibition as outlined in the Graham-Chaffetz proposal. The NCSL is not alone in that regard, as the Fraternal Order of Police, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, and the Democratic Governors Association have all spoken out against Adelson and the bill attempting to ban Internet wagering.

States have proven that they are effective regulators of the gambling industry, and the proponents of this legislation fail to make a case that we have been negligent in our responsibilities to the industry and consumers,” said the NCSL letter.

As pointed out by Sen. Starr, NCSL president, states such as Utah that do not approve of online gambling are certainly free to not enact online gambling legislation. But those that do, such as Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and others that may be considering igaming regulations should have the right to do so.

This is the way it should work, each state making the decision that is best suited to the desires of its residents and not through a congressional mandate,” the letter stated.

Adelson’s coalition was formed in December and has been a burr in the side of online gambling advocates ever since. With unlimited wealth at his disposal, the 80-year-old billionaire has made it his goal to destroy the proliferation of Internet gambling in the U.S. The Las Vegas Sands CEO is said to have dumped nearly $100 million in donations to Republican candidates that failed to collect a majority of votes in the 2012 elections.

A better time for Adelson to begin his crusade might have been just after an opinion was issued on the Wire Act in 2011 and before states had already begun creating laws in favor of Internet gambling. Three states launching regulated gaming sites in 2013, with perhaps a dozen more state legislatures currently debating the issue.



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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.