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US online poker ban finding more obstacles

May 26, 2014

The different groups and coalitions against the online gambling industry are trying to force the US government to introduce bills to ban this lucrative market in the United States. However, these factions are recently finding more and more obstacles on its way to ban one of the most profitable industries in the world. US players are aware that these are nothing but some of the land-based casino owners from Las Vegas as well as the Native American tribes from California, both, groups that only want to keep the gambling monopoly in the United States the way it has been for the past 50 years. Now it is the turn for the National Governors Associations (NGA) to speak up as Sheldon Adelson's coalition seems to be gaining popularity and, with it, the group is becoming stronger. The National Governors Association, bipartisan organization of national governors, has come out with something to say about the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. The NGA governors are trying to bring to the table their experience on national policy, a tool that could be perfectly used to link up both state and federal governments. The NGA is now an advocate for online poker since last week when the group sent a letter last Friday to Senate Majority and Minority leaders, as well as both speakers of the House John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. The letter is a statement of the pitiless ambitious of a few political circles within the government of the United States to continue supporting causes like Sheldon Adelson's coalition.

"Dear Majority Leader Reid, Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Representative Pelosi:

The nation’s governors are concerned with legislation introduced in Congress that would ban online Internet gaming and Internet lottery sales because it challenges the federal-state relationship. The regulation of gaming is an issue that has historically been addressed by the states. Regardless of whether governors are in favor of offering gaming within their own states, decisions at the federal level that affect state regulatory authority should not be made unilaterally without state input. A strong, cooperative relationship between the states and federal government is vital to serve best the interests of all citizens. The Restoration of America’s Wire Act was introduced into both the U.S. Senate (S. 2159) and House of Representatives (H.R. 4301) two months ago by Senator Lindsey Graham (R – S.C.) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah), respectively. The goal of the bill is to revert the interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act to, once again, prohibit all internet gambling. The Wire Act only specifies that online sports betting is illegal (while there was no internet 53 years ago, the Act bans sports betting over wire communications, logically interpreted as including the internet), but the U.S. Department of Justice had been of the opinion that it outlawed all internet gambling. In late 2011, the Department of Justice clarified its stance on the Wire Act, confirming that it only applied to sports betting. This new, correct interpretation has not made Sheldon Adelson and other online poker opponents happy, as it opened the door for states to individually legalize and regulate online gaming. Three states have – Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada – and more states are considering it. Reverting back to the incorrect interpretation of the Wire Act would likely require those states to shut down their online gambling industries and take away gambling decisions from the states when that is something states have traditionally been allowed to control themselves."

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