Utah Urges Oppososition To Federal Gambling Laws

Posted by on Friday, April 13th, 2018

Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who just last month signed legislation into law that prohibits online gambling in Utah and authorizes the state to opt out of any legislation enacted on a nationwide format, has penned a letter to Congress urging lawmakers not to legalize online gambling on a federal level.

Dated April 4 and sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner, Utah’s anti-gambling governor wrote that Internet gambling should be “regulated by states for the benefit of their residents” and that the ruling issued in December by the U.S. Department of Justice that found the 1961 Wire Act to apply only to sports betting “clarifies and reaffirms that this is a matter of state authority.”

Herbert may not have to worry, though, because federal legislators are not expected to be passing online gambling legislation anytime soon, especially in an election year. There had been some industry rumors that Sen. Reid may try to attach an online poker bill to a revised version of a cyber security measure, but no further details regarding that scuttlebutt have been forthcoming.

Reid (D-Nevada), has stated his opposition to state online gambling legislation as not being in the best interests of the United States. “We cannot have a series of laws around the country related to gaming,” Reid said. “I know a lot about gaming… I’m a former chairman of the Nevada (Gaming) Commission and I think it’s very important that we have a national law.”

It appears that a state-by-state online poker and gambling format will come to fruition, as Nevada inches closer to making that a reality. Having passed regulations in December, and on a course to approve licenses of Internet poker applicants sometime this summer, Silver State gaming officials are predicting intrastate online poker sites will be up and running in the fall.

New Jersey, California and Delaware also have active bills pending before their state legislatures. New Jersey’s proposal was approved by a Senate committee and is awaiting a vote by the full Senate and General Assembly. California’s proposed bill is currently being amended to satisfy the lobbying efforts of powerful Indian tribes and cardrooms. Delaware’s Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2018 has just been introduced to lawmakers earlier this month.

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