Online Gambling Ban: Bill Resurfaces In Congress To Ban The Online Vice

Online gambling: harmless vice or dangerous addiction? The issue has been ongoing, and it has even managed to make it to the U.S. Congress. In 2006, Congress acted to strike down internet gambling in the U.S. under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Unlike the failure in 1999, with the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, Congress succeeded with the outcome. The Department of Justice, in 2011, made a decision to “relax” its views toward online gambling, Fox News reported.

This led to New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware to take advantage of this decision. As it stands, only New Jersey is considered to have “fully legalized” online gambling. However, it is still partnered with a physical casino, and has a 17 percent New Jersey tax on their online gambling.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham took a shot at online gambling in 2014, but fell flat, Pokerfuse reports. Now, according to KTVN, Utah Sen. Jason Chaffetz plans to introduce the Restoration of America’s Wire Act on Wednesday. The bill is reportedly identical to the Sen. Graham’s bill from last year.

The Wire Act was a bill introduced in 1961, and signed by John F. Kennedy, to “bets or wagers.” The Acts produced in 1999, and again in 2007, sought to expand the law to cover online gambling.

It is unclear what the motivation behind this sudden reemergence of this bill is, but according to KTVN, the director of research for Gambling Compliance Chris Krafcik says the bill is unlikely to make it this time, either. The reason for his certainty, he says, is the two opposing forces that are on either side of the debate. Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson supports banning online gambling, and Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and lawmakers advocating for state’s rights are in favor of keeping current laws that allow some online gambling in place.

Adelson, a long time advocate to ban online gambling, started the Coalition to Stop Online Gambling. He has also made the proclamation, according to Pokerfuse, that he will “spend whatever it takes to stop online gambling.” Adelson is also a well known donor in political circles, as the Inquisitr has reported in the past.

However, it would be hard to put Pandora back in the box, as it were. With existing industries already in motion, and tax revenue in the pockets of the aforementioned three states, it would be hard to stop. The state of New Jersey, in particular, has made a lot of revenue on online gambling. In 2014 alone, online gambling revenue was $122.8 million.

[Image via Creative Commons]