Saturday October 31,2015 : BAD WEEK FOR ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING POLITICIAN
Not a happy time for RAWA sponsor Jason Chaffetz.
Fears that arch anti-online gambling politician Jason Chaffetz might succeed in his ambitious bid to become the 62nd Speaker of the US House of Representatives receded this week following his announcement that he was withdrawing from the race…as it turned out just in time, because rival Republican Paul Ryan was elected to the influential post Thursday.
US media noted that Ryan was elected on 236 votes, and received a standing ovation in the chamber.
It was not a good week for Chaffetz, a conservative Republican Representative from Utah, who fronted a lacklustre CSIG press conference trying to promote his sluggish Restoration of America's Wire Act, and also received a letter from the 330,000-member National Fraternal Order of Police, advising that it did not support RAWA.
The letter notes that the Order has been closely monitoring progress in the three US states that have legalised online gambling and has come to the conclusion that available technologies make regulation practical and effective in protecting vulnerable and underage gamblers and excluding criminal elements.
The Order believes that federal bans on online gambling would be counterproductive and encourage illegal gambling on offshore websites, which offer fewer safeguards.
The letter observes:
"They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we agree – a Federal prohibition of online gaming would make our communities less safe, not more so. It is clear that the market demand exists – Americans spend nearly three billion dollars annually on offshore gaming sites that offer no safeguards and are out of the reach of law enforcement.
"Banning Internet gaming wholesale in the United States would further empower these illegal, offshore sites and leave law enforcement in our States and nationwide without the tools to protect our citizens."
The Poker Players Alliance has put the letter up on its website here: http://theppa.org/static/pdf/GamingOversight_10282015.pdf
Completing a week of fails for Chaffetz, the Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, has rejected an appeal by two state AGs for their colleagues across the nation to support RAWA In a letter to US Senator Jeff Flake, Brnovich observed:
"I believe that the best place to determine gambling policy – prohibition, regulation or something in between – is at the state level – where historically such decisions have been made."
His main point is that gambling laws are a state – not federal – issue, and that state legislatures are the responsible bodies for considering regulation and passing appropriate laws.
"With the current proliferation of gambling over the Internet, including the rise of Daily Fantasy Sports games (DFS), states must consider both the legality and possible regulation of such activities," he comments.
"Recently, some states have moved to petition the federal government to step in with national laws to address these issues, which I believe is a mistake."
Brnovich is no slouch when it comes to gambling law – he has in the past served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming.
He concludes: "We know that not every problem warrants a federal solution. Internet gambling is a matter for the states."