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The NCLGS against " Restoration of America's Wire Act "

April 16, 2014

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) submitted a letter last week to Congressional leadership opposing the recently introduced « Restoration of America’s Wire Act » and urging Congress to support states’ rights.

The NCLGS has now joined the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, and the National Conference of State Legislatures in voicing its opposition of the legislation, sponsored by Senators Lindsay Graham and Jason Chaffetz, that is seeking to expand the 1961 Wire Act. Should it pass, the legislation would outlaw all forms of online gambling except for fantasy games and horseracing and would effectively preempt the historical and constitutional right of states to regulate gambling within their borders.

In a letter addressed to Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley and Representatives Bob Goodlatte and John Coneyrs, Representative Jim Waldam, NGLGS President stated that “This legislation, proposing to amend the Wire Act to prohibit transmission of wagering information for all types of gambling activities, including Internet gambling, would effectively preempt the states’ historical ability to properly regulate gaming. It is our strong conviction, as legislators who chair and are members of the legislative committees that work diligently to develop sound public gaming policy, that states are the most appropriate entity to decide upon, and oversee, what kind of gaming should exist and what should not within their borders”. Before adding that “States have the expertise, developed over many years of experience, to oversee gaming for the best outcomes to the states and their consumers. Recognizing this, Congress in the Interstate Horse Racing Act found that “the States should have the primary responsibility for determining what forms of gambling may legally take place within their borders,” not only terrestrially, but via “electronic media.”

“To be clear, NCLGS does not support or oppose legalization of Internet gaming and realizes that technological advances in gaming—Internet or otherwise—present multiple social and economic policy issues to be considered. NCLGS is currently working on a State Internet Gaming Policy Framework to safeguard both states that wish to participate in Internet gaming and those that do not”.

“States like Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, and Maine have recently passed bills to expand, legalize, or prohibit Internet gaming, and many others are currently considering measures. We assert that each state can and should determine what will best reflect and serve the needs of its residents”.

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