Anti-online gambling bill has reappeared this month, thanks to a congressman in Utah. The congressman has taken it upon himself to reintroduce the bill, which if enforced would mean a total ban on internet gambling, and thus the undoing all of the groundwork which several states have made to legitimize gambling in their territories.
Changes made in 2011 to the Federal Wire Act, deemed that the prohibiting act only appears to sports and no other forms of gambling. Republican Jason Chaffetz, however, said that the decisions made about gambling should be made in Congress, not by attorneys.
According to Chaffetz, by introducing his bill, all online gambling would once again become illegal, as it would undo the decisions of the Justice Department, regarding the Wire Act. Congress would then have to decide to pass a federal law legalizing online gambling or not. It has long been said that no federal bill legalizing online gambling would ever appear, with each individual state handed the power to decide on the matter themselves. Many have chosen to do so, and legitimize gambling on the internet, with specific restrictions in place.
According to Chaffetz, the online gambling history has deliberately targeted children by features characters from Wizard of Oz, and other such films. This unfounded viewpoint has been declared nonsense, by many opponents of the bill, citing that such characters are not expressly for children, and that sufficient security measures are in place. Backing up Chaffetz, is Sheldon Adelson – surprise, surprise. The owner of the Las Vegas Sand Corporation of casinos, is a billionaire, though has recently lost many millions of dollars due to the introduction of online gambling. He has made it his personal crusade to rid America of online gambling, though, obviously, for more selfish reasons.
When Adelson joined the bill movement, one had to ask if the debate was really about shielding and protecting youths from gambling, or was really all about preserving the profits of the filthy rich, land-based casino magnates? Not all casino owners agree with Adelson and Chaffetz. Other casinos, such as Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts are against the bill, since they see internet gambling as a way in which they can expand their businesses.
Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized online gambling in some forms, with top quality protection and safety rules. These are the arguments being made against the bill by the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, which both Caesars and MGM support.
With a further ten states considering pushing out and legalizing online gambling, Mr Chaffetz couldn’t have a more difficult job on his hands. If it does all go backwards and online gambling is declared illegal under a federal law once more, the potential backlash from those states could be huge and significant.