Lawmakers from both parties have introduced legislation in the House and Senate on Wednesday aimed at imposing an outright ban on online gambling
Legislation to reverse the Department of Justice’s 2011 decision to unilaterally expand online gambling has been submitted to Congress and the Senate, hoping to make its way into American gambling laws.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chief Senate sponsor is backing the bill, commenting that because of the 2011 ruling, “Virtually any cellphone or computer can again become a video poker machine. It’s simply not right.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who controls his chamber’s agenda, has supported legalizing online poker.
Nevada’s other senator, Republican Dean Heller, favors Internet poker in Nevada and wants to allow the decision to be a state matter. Although also thinks a major expansion of online gambling would be “bad for Nevada and for the country,” Heller spokeswoman Chandler Smith said.
UPDATE: The Poker Players Alliance has expressed its strong condemnation of the Chaffetz and Graham bills.
Sheldon Adelson, a major financial backer of GOP candidates and a casino owner, has said he will spend money to try halting online gambling. Adelson gave $93m to Republican candidates during the 2012 presidential elections, and has vowed even more during the elections of 2016.
Adelson is considered the biggest threat to online gambling since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006. He is keen to keep gambling off the internet; and in his casinos.
The bill was delivered by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham; Senator Graham is currently up for re-election in conservative South Carolina.
Besides some objections to a 2010 online poker bill, Graham has no history of opposing any Internet or mobile casinos, but now he is fully behind the cause.
It seems Adelson’s money is talking; loudly. Rulings will follow this week.