Graham and Feinstein Urge DOJ To Change Online Gambling Stance

Graham and Feinstein Urge DOJ To Change Online Gambling StanceOctober proved to be one of the best months as far as US online poker is concerned, with first New Jersey agreeing to join Nevada and Delaware’s player sharing compact, followed by the Pennsylvania legislature finally passing a landmark bill allowing online poker and other casino games to take place within its borders.
All the excitement seems to have rattled a few nerves in the anti-online gambling camp, though, and on November 21st Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) renewed his effort to have the plug pulled on the industry, together with his long time bipartisan supporter Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Three years ago, the duo wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) calling upon it to reconsider its 2011 reinterpretation of the Wire Act, and echoing past sentiments, an extract from their latest letter reads:
“Internet gambling takes gambling too far. It preys on children and society’s most vulnerable. The FBI has concluded that ‘online casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes,’ including money laundering and ventures by transnational organized crime groups.”
Needless to say, Graham and Feinstein seem oblivious to the fact online gambling outside the country’s regulated states continues to thrive and leach money away from state coffers. Or that online company’s operating within the laws of regulated states help generate money to fund state projects, while ensuring online gamblers are protected from unscrupulous operators.
Overlooking all the potential benefits regulated internet gambling can provide, Graham and Feinstein instead resorted to their usual scaremongering rhetoric, and as their letter states:
“We fear that unless DOJ promptly revisits its 2011 opinion, our prediction that online casinos could sweep across our country could come to pass.”
Graham and Feinstein’s letter was sent to the DOJ just a couple of weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court opens up a hearing concerning New Jersey’s challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The Garden State is hoping to have the federal law restricting sports betting to just a handful of states overturned, and if it succeeds, then the path would then be open for other states to launch sports betting industries of their own, with online sites being an obvious way to bring such products to the market.
As David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, explained recently: “If we win sports wagering, online gaming will go to every state that adopts sports betting. As soon as sports wagering is legalized, online gambling will follow right behind it.”

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