Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has become the latest politician to voice strong opposition to online gambling and last week he wrote an op-ed for the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report vowing to campaign against its spread in the US, and particularly his home state of Louisiana.
A recent study entitled ‘U.S. Internet Gambling in Focus‘ named Louisiana as one of 10 states seriously considering online gambling legalization in 2014. The report obviously didn’t sit well with Jindal, however, who subsequently took the opportunity to reiterate his campaign promise to put a halt to any proposals by state legislators to expand gambling in Louisiana.
The Pelican State won $202.2 million from casino gamblers in December, 2013, but the introduction of regulated online gambling is seen as a step too far by the Republican governor, who then likened internet gaming executives to Soprano’s gangster Christopher Moltisanti, who killed screenwriter J.T. Dolan after involving him in a dangerous game he couldn’t afford to play.
“Those who want to bring casinos into America’s living rooms say ‘trust us, it’s safe for kids,’ and that the ‘technology can thwart criminals and money launderers. I don’t trust them, and neither should the people of Louisiana,” explained Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Ironically, since taking office six years ago the Louisiana governor hadn’t focused much on internet gambling until the Gambling Compliance report was released, coupled with Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson’s recent high-profile anti-internet gambling ad campaign. Jindal has subsequently attacked the US DoJ’s 2011 reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act as a huge mistake and has vowed to prevent regulated online poker and casino games finding a toehold in Louisiana.
“There is a big difference between having to go to a casino and having a casino come to you. Americans know that betting on an iPhone or a computer or on an iPad is fundamentally different, and much more dangerous than going to a casino where trained staff can prevent kids from playing. It is impossible to implement a responsible gambling protocol in an Internet gambling environment,” concluded the 42 year-old State Governor.