There’s a bit of a war going on regarding US regulated online gambling and this week saw Senator Lyndsey Graham of South Carolina introduce a bill that would ban all forms of regulated online gambling in the US except for horse racing and fantasy sports betting. The bill was in fact drafted by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s lobbyist who is pushing hard for a ban to be placed on regulated gambling in the United States, however we stress here that this bill has nothing to do with the regulated offshore casinos such as Slots.LV and Uptown Aces (Deserrt Nights) Casino, only those online poker rooms and casinos that are regulated or yet to be regulated in the US.
Adelson believes that online gambling is bad for gamblers and bad for the US, somewhat ironic from a man who has made his billions of dollars from his Sands Casinos, and this bill would put an end to the regulated online sites of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware before they’ve really had a chance to get off the ground. There are of course many people against the bill including Jan Jones, a former Las Vegas mayor and now head of government relations at Caesar’s Entertainment who says that, “It is unfortunate, when an industry undermines itself, this fight is tarnishing the entire industry. You just raise a whole specter of negativity that I think is unfortunate and inappropriate, after we have spent the last three decades with a message that gaming is just entertainment enjoyed by responsible adults.” We most definitely think Jan Jones is correct on all counts. The bill would effectively restore the Wire Act to its original interpretation and remove individual states from regulating online casinos and poker rooms themselves, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated that, “Gaming regulation is the responsibility of state government, Nevada has performed this function for decades and maintains an experienced, sophisticated and respected regulatory structure, this legislation would infringe upon states’ rights and attempt to undermine existing state law.” Any federal bill would also surely undermine those states who have worked hard to get the ball rolling with their respective ventures, and there is also the fact that residents of these states did have their say on the matter before launching.
A Slim Chance is Still a Chance
Many observers believe that the bill stands little chance of success and the current co-sponsors of the bill make up around 4% of the total vote that is required to pass the bill in both the Senate and the House, as many Senators believe that individual states rights are being put at risk with such a bill. It has to be remembered that tax revenue collected from regulated online gambling helps towards many state projects such as schooling and educational programs. The three states who already offer regulated gambling will of course have a lot to say on the matter, as will the consumer protection groups and although there’s only a slim chance of the bill ever making it to the desk of the President for a signature, as all gamblers know, a slim chance is still a chance.