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NCSL Says a Firm No to Any Federal of Online Poker Legalization

Mar 13, 2012

online gambling views from NCSL
Online gambling

The NCSL strongly advises against federal poker legalization

According to recent casino gambling news in the United States, the National Conference of State Legislatures has provided arguments against federal legalization of online poker sites and has informed Congress that they believe individual states should adopt their own laws on the matter.

The NCSL had provided the arguments, written by two lawmakers, citing the Department of Justice’s December ruling that stated the Federal Wire Act of 1961 should only apply to sports betting. The NCSL feels as though the ruling allows individual states to make up their own laws regarding online gambling games such as poker and online blackjack.

In a letter, the representatives for Alabama and Hawaii, both co-chairs for NCSL stated that: “the NCSL believes the federal government should respect the Justice Department ruling and would oppose any efforts by Congress to preempt state authority over internet gaming.”

Firmly standing opposed to any federal law legalizing poker or online gambling as a whole across the United States, the NCSL re-affirmed themselves once more in the letter, believing that each individual state should take control over their own gambling laws and adopt online gambling policies as they see fit.

The letter went on: “We ask Congress to respect the sovereignty of states and to not consider any legislation that would overturn the Department of Justices ruling or to consider any legislation that would regulate gambling at the federal level. States have long been able to choose whether or not other forms of gambling should be legal and have been very successful in its regulation. We also ask that the federal government respect the rights of states that choose to prohibit Internet gaming.”

The NCSL are not alone in their belief though, and many state run lotteries are also opposed to any federal law concerning online gambling. Rather unsurprisingly, the owners of the casino resorts feel differently, and would prefer a tight federal law as it would give them a greater advantage over online sites which could be played across state-lines.

The main argument for them is the difference between play in casino and online.

Several top casino companies are fully behind any federal plan to overhaul the gambling laws nationwide, and the American Gaming Association is also behind a federal law. The Association would fully stand behind any federal legalization of online poker sites, though its stance on the remainder of online games that could be available under individual state laws is as of yet unclear.


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