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Is AG Sessions Looking to Ban Internet Gambling?

April 21st, 2017 Author:

Is AG Sessions Looking to Ban Internet Gambling?Rumors currently swirling around the media, if true, bode ill for online gambling in America, as apparently US Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be seriously considering banning it on a federal level. Speculation on the issue first broke after being covered in a report by Gambling Compliance, which provides business intelligence to the gambling industry.

Further concern has been raised after it emerged that staunch anti-online gambling advocate Sheldon Adelson has been heavily invested in getting Trump elected, having donated $11.2 million towards his election campaign, and a further $5 million towards his inauguration. According to the Washington Post, Adelson also gave $20 million to the Senate Leadership Fund last year just a few days before the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) found its way once more into the Senate.

The main concern seems to be that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may decide to attack the country’s online gambling legal status by overturning the 2011 Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion that viewed the 1961 Wire Act as applying only to sports betting, and not other types of internet gambling. Taking such a stance would not run counter to what Sessions said on the topic during his AG confirmation, either, namely:

“Apparently, there is some justification or argument that can be made to support the Department of Justice’s [2011] position, but I did oppose it when it happened and it seemed to me to be unusual. I would revisit it and I will make a decision on it based on careful study. I haven’t gone that far to give you an opinion today.”

However, Sessions’ statement did run counter to some of the opinions Donald Trump expressed on online gambling legislation several years ago, when the pro-business magnate stated that internet gambling “has to happen because many other countries are doing it and, like usual, the US is just missing out.” Consequently, Adelson may find that any attempt by Sessions to undertake such a bold and unpopular move as banning iGambling on a Federal level may ultimately backfire, and close debate on the topic once and for all, but not in his favor.

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