Thursday June 7, 2012 : FAMILY GROUPS REPEAT CALLS TO HALT ONLINE GAMBLING LEGALISATION (Update)
Groups across 13 states want UIGEA strengthened
Family representative groups across 13 states have reiterated their calls last month for a halt to the spread of online gambling and a strengthening of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
The groups, from states as far afield as Wisconsin, Kentucky, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Hawaii, Georgia and Tennessee, are concerned at the current move by individual states toward legalization after the Justice Department's change of interpretation of the Wire Act last December.
This week the groups appealed to Congress "….to ensure its clear intent that the Internet not become a giant online casino."
"The bottom line is we are The Family Foundation, and expansion of gambling through casinos or online is targeting one group only: moms and dads," said Kent Ostrander, founder of The Family Foundation of Kentucky. "It's an effort to separate a family from its assets. The family is the building block of any society, and yet it is the most vulnerable institution in that society."
He claimed that the added tax revenue to state governments from expanded gambling will be more than offset by the societal costs, particularly if gambling is made as easy as logging on to a computer.
The groups' appeals to Congress were contained in letters to congressional leaders, noting that 10 states are currently considering online gambling legalization, and asking them to strengthen the UIGEA to make it clear that online betting is not what lawmakers wanted.
At the East Coast Gaming Congress last month in Atlantic City, a panel of industry and Wall Street experts predicted that Internet gambling will soon become a reality on a state-by-state basis, because Congress is too divided to agree on legalization.
The letters were signed off by representatives of the Wisconsin Family Action; The Family Foundation of Kentucky; Louisiana Family Forum Action; the North Carolina Family Policy Council; the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values Action; the Pennsylvania Family Council; the Palmetto Family Council in South Carolina; the Missouri Family Policy Council; the Massachusetts Family Institute; the Minnesota Family Council & Institute; the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, representing 38 organizations; the Georgia Family Council, and Family Action of Tennessee.