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US Congress trying to ban online gaming again

April 1, 2014

The US Congress has received one more bill to ban the online gambling industry, an industry that has recently taken off but only for three of the US states: Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. The bills to ban any possible federal legislation that could open the online gaming market have been introduced in US Congress by both political parties, Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers from both parties have recently presented the ban to the House and Senate to overturn the decision taken in 2011 by Attorney General Eric Holder about the final purpose of a 1961's gambling regulation. Attorney General considered that this online gambling interdiction from the 60s could only be applied to sports betting. The new anti- online gambling ban is trying to go back to 2011 before the House of the Representatives ruled against this 1960's regulation.

From all around the country, different political dignitaries and other public figures from the land-based gambling market have expressed themselves about opening the doors of one of the most fructuous market. Some of these personages, like South Carolina's Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, have shown their fear to the progress and the development of the country that can profit from this market: "Virtually any cell phone or computer can again become a video poker machine. It's simply not right".

On the other side, Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, has tried to show to the public how erroneous many of these businessmen and politicians are about internet gambling: "The idea that Congress could or would ban internet gambling is ludicrous and down-right foolish. Whether you like the idea of allowing access to Internet gambling or not, Americans are currently wagering Billions a year online, most of which occurs in an unregulated marketplace. Given the freedom of the internet, attempts to prohibit this activity have never worked and will never work. The most responsible solution is for Congress to follow the lead – rather than attempt to roll back – the strict rules implemented in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to control the activity and protect consumers. It is laughable and completely disingenuous that a casino mogul would come out so forcefully against gambling online because, in his view, it is the only way to protect consumers. While Sheldon Adelson preaches the need for prohibition, I certainly hope clearer heads prevail and acknowledge his actions are purely driven by bottom-line greed to the detriment of what is truly best for consumers. Consistent rules across the country are needed to ensure every American is protected against money laundering, fraud and abuse. While federal oversight is needed, individual states should decide whether to allow internet gambling within their borders. Senator Graham and Representative Chaffetz should respect the right of each state, not force a roll back of an industry that has already started to flourish in the US".

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