New Proposed Legislation Seeks to Ban Online Gambling in the US

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Congress is weighing in on the online gambling debate in the US. Representative Jason Chaffetz is leading the way to new legislation, bolstered by Senator Lindsey Graham. The purpose of the legislation is to ban online gambling in nearly all its forms throughout the country. That’s a bold and expansive move for the government, even taking into consideration the limitations the US places on online gambling currently.

He legislations is aimed at online gambling games, including slots, poker, blackjack and every other table game. Past legislation has left slots and other guaranteed win games out of its coverage, but this one seeks to include everything that would fall under the umbrella of gambling online. There are rumors that this bill is being pushed and partially funded by land-based casino tycoons who want to put a stop to online gambling. In particular, sources are naming Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands as participating in the bills current status. This CEO actively disapproves of online gambling and has worked to shut down online gambling in the past. For many online gambling supporters, it only makes sense that Adelson would be involved in promoting this legislation and ensuring that it gets approved.

Adelson has already put much of his own money into the work against online gambling. Lobbying efforts are his favorite method, and he seems focused on preventing online casinos from functioning. The interest groups that he funds have claimed that their primary purpose is to protect children from the dangers of online gambling.

When the legislation was introduced on the senate floor, a statement was issued by the DGA (Democratic Governors Association). The statement proclaimed their disapproval of any ban on online casinos and gambling businesses.

This is an issue that has gained traction with the public. These lawmakers are not the first to try to push such a bill through, as legislators from Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and others have tried something similar with bills of their own. The previous bills have focused more on regulating the online gambling industry more than outright banning it, but the effect would be very similar.

Regulating the internet and the gambling sites in particular is of great interest to the US government. It opens up a massive revenue stream for them, just in licensing fees, if nothing else. Government officials, noting the need for the additional revenue, have pressured legislatures to push for regulation. Without that regulation in place, the government runs the risk of missing out on millions of dollars of potential income.

In 2011, online casinos were almost regulated. The US Department of Justice issued an edict stating that the 1961 Wire Act had been reversed. This act prohibited online gambling completely. The department has strengthened their stance on the matter slightly, adding to the decision that only sports betting would be considered illegal.

The new proposed legislation is very likely to start up the conversation again and lead to more debate on the matter of regulation and prohibition. There is an election cycle coming up this year, and this issue could become a focal point for one of the candidates. At the moment, neither of the two major political parties has issued a strong enough stance on the subject to make a clear prediction as to whether or not the law will go through.

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