More Politicians in the US Stand Up for Online Gambling

More Politicians in the US Stand Up for Online Gambling

Posted on 14/06/11 - by Theodor Mavrodis News

Despite recent efforts by the US government to crack down on gambling sites serving US customers more and more politicians in US states are voicing support for regulated online gambling.

Momentum in the US had been building in recent years to replace the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that was passed in late 2006 with legal, regulated online poker instead.

Sagging state budgets and struggling economies added extra impetus to legalizing and taxing online poker, which could bring in billions in tax revenues to states that desperately need it.

It appeared that it would be Nevada that would lead the way, with Wynn Casino and other US casinos signing strategic partnerships with PokerStars and Full Tilt to potentially one day offer legal online poker to customers in the US.

Those plans were quickly scuttled, however, shortly after April 15th, when the US Department of Justice indicted Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker on charges that included wire fraud and money laundering.

Changes in Nevada

With the dust finally settling from those actions, it's once again Nevada that's making news as far as new efforts to allow Internet gambling in Nevada -- a move that could blaze a trail that other US states might follow.

Nevada governor Brian Sandoval has signed a bill into law that requires the Nevada Gaming Commission to start the process of drafting regulations to offer online gambling in Nevada if (and it's a big if) US law changes to allow it.

It would take a federal bill to allow US states such as Nevada to offer online poker or casino games, and politicians Barney Frank (a prominent Democrat who has long argued for legalizing and taxing online poker and other games) and Joe Barton have both introduced bills that could lead to legalize online poker on the federal level.

Other states have attempted to pass their own intra-state gambling measures with mixed success; bills failed in Florida and New Jersey and while poker-only online games were approved in the District of Columbia, there's still no regulatory body or regulations in place so it's still far from a reality. 

Past staunch opponents of online gambling such as Republican Spencer Bachus have also softened their anti-gambling stance in recent months, qualifying their opposition by saying that some online gambling could be acceptable if properly monitored and regulated.