Governors do not support Texas governor Perry's call for reintroduction of the full Wire Act
Texas governor Rick Perry's call for the resurrection of the full Wire Act to stop the trend toward online gambling legalisation (see earlier InfoPowa reports) triggered a fast reaction from the Democratic Governors Association Tuesday, which quickly flagged its opposition to any such move.
In a letter addressed to the leaders of Congress, including Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner, the DGA said it is opposed to a ban on online gaming.
Signed by DGA leaders Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Margaret Wood Hassan of New Hampshire, the letter refers to the reported intentions of Sen. Graham Linsey and Rep. Jason Chaffertz to introduce a banning measure in Congress, and stresses that Democratic Party governors have a "…strong opposition to the 'Internet Gambling Control Act of 2014".
The governors are especially concerned at the impact on their state lotteries business that the banning initiative constitutes, along with interference in states' rights that it represents.
"The regulation of gaming has traditionally been addressed by the states," the letter points out. "As you consider the issue of Internet gaming, we hope you give strong consideration to the importance of preserving these state rights. Some states have chosen not to allow and regulate gaming; and for the many states that do allow it, gaming and lotteries are critical to producing the revenue needed to fund important state and local governmental services, such as public education.
"If enacted, not only would this Bill ban all forms of regulated internet gaming and internet lottery sales, but it would also have the effect of prohibiting the operation of traditional lottery draw games, including Mega Millions and Powerball, currently offered in forty-four states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"This Bill would amend the "Wire Act" (18 U.S.C. §§ 1081 and 1084.5) to define "sporting event or contest" so broadly that it would prohibit all internet, mobile and telephonic gaming in the United States with the exception of horse racing and participation in fantasy sports tournaments as set forth in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 ("UIGEA")."
The letter points out that the Lindsey bill lacks a grandfather clause for already existing legalised online gaming, including that in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is the Chair of the Democratic Governor's Association and Gov John Hickenlooper of Colorado serves as Vice-Chair. Eleven governors were listed on the letter, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Jerry Brown of California.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa