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Old 1st April 2014
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Lightbulb New Federal Legislation to Ban Internet Gambling Based on False Premises

New Federal Legislation to Ban Internet Gambling Based on False Premises

Careful Regulation of Flourishing Industry, Not Prohibition is the Only Way to Protect Consumers

27th March, 2014

(Washington, DC) – The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, a leading advocate for Internet gambling regulation, decries the introduction of legislation yesterday by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that would ban all forms of Internet gambling with the exception of fantasy games and horse racing.

“The idea that Congress could or would ban Internet gambling is ludicrous and down-right foolish,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “Whether you like the idea of allowing access to Internet gambling or not, Americans are currently wagering billions a year online, most of which occurs in an unregulated marketplace. Given the freedom of the Internet, attempts to prohibit this activity have never worked and will never work. The most responsible solution is for Congress to follow the lead – rather than attempt to rollback – the strict rules implemented in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to control the activity and protect consumers.”

The Democratic Governors Association have already come out with strong opposition to the bill in a letter to Congressional leaders. The Association argues that the decision over whether to allow Internet gambling should be left to each state and that the bill would negatively impact many states through the prohibition of traditional lottery draw games.

Media reports indicate the legislation was introduced today at the urging of billionaire casino mogul and mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

“It’s laughable and completely disingenuous that a casino mogul would come out so forcefully against gambling online because, in his view, it’s the only way to protect consumers,” added Waxman. “While Adelson preaches the need for prohibition, I certainly hope clearer heads prevail and acknowledge his actions are purely driven by bottom-line greed to the detriment of what’s truly best for consumers.”

In an attempt to pre-empt potential issues arising from response to the spread of Internet gambling on a state-by-state basis, federal legislation was introduced last year by Reps. Pete King (R-NY) and Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), the Internet Gambling Regulation, Enforcement, and Consumer Protection Act of 2013, which would create a uniform regulatory framework to control the activity and protect consumers. The legislation respects the right of each state and tribe to determine whether to allow Internet gambling within their respective borders, but would ensure the activity is not governed by inconsistent state laws. Modeled after legislation approved by a 41-22 vote in the House Committee on Financial Services in July 2010, the legislation has broad bi-partisan support.

“While prohibition isn’t the answer, there’s no question that federal intervention is needed to control Internet gambling activity. Consistent rules across the country are needed to ensure every American is protected against money laundering, fraud and abuse,” added Waxman. “While federal oversight is needed, individual states should decide whether to allow Internet gambling within their borders. Senator Graham and Representative Chaffetz should respect the right of each state, not force a rollback of an industry that has already started to flourish in the US.”


About Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative promotes the freedom of individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions. For more information on the Initiative, please visit www.safeandsecureig.org.
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