02/02/2012 : Governor faces some tough opposition as internet gambling debate continues
Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy may see the inevitability of legalised online gambling but he is facing some tough opposition to the concept from Republican politicians in the state.
Chief among these is Senator John McKinney, who held a press conference on Wednesday in which he directly attacked the governor's assessment of the issue and pledged to oppose any legalization initiative every step of the way.
In advance of a Public Safety and Security Committee informational meeting on Internet gambling scheduled for today (Thursday), McKinney, who is the state Senate Minority Leader, accused the governor of “widespread misinformation and misrepresentation” on the prospect of intrastate legalization of online gambling.
McKinney revealed that he had sent a seven-page memo to Gov. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, legislative leaders and the chairmen and ranking members of the Public Safety and Security Committee, in which he detailed why the governor's assessment of the situation is wrong.
The Justice Department’s recent change of policy on the Wire Act does not make the legalization of online gambling inevitable, McKinney said.
“Connecticut law already prohibits Internet gambling. That Connecticut law is a good law and does not change given the Department of Justice’s decision,” he claimed. “It is prohibited now, and it will always be."
“Internet gambling is not coming to Connecticut,” the senator concluded, threatening to introduce legalization with more draconian penalties for persons engaged in illegal internet gambling in Connecticut.
The senator said that under current law engaging in online gambling is a Class B misdemeanour for both the gambler and the operator that provides the service,
Responding to McKinney's attack, the governor's office said: “The Justice Department decision makes clear that online gaming will eventually reach Connecticut. Gov. Malloy is concerned about protecting jobs and revenue that are tied to the gaming industry, and looks forward to having a public dialogue on the issue in the coming weeks and months.”