Monday, October 24,2011 : Concerns that the competition will be bad for state lottery
Whatever happened to the spirit of competition that vitalises business and creates better deals for the consumer? Apparently in Maryland's state administration it is somewhat lacking as news emerged this week that the governor fears for his lottery.
With several states still toying with the idea of internet poker legalization, and the Washington DC council currently holding public awareness exercises on its recently passed measure legalising online gambling administered by the Washington DC Lottery, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley burst into print opposing any federal attempts to legalise online poker this week, expressing fears that it would "destroy" his state lottery.
Writing to Senator Patty Murray and Representative Jeb Hensarling, the co-chairs of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, O'Malley asked that measures seeking to legalise online poker in the United States – thus raising government revenues – be removed from consideration by the committee.
"Such proposals would diminish significant sources of revenue for the states when we have already had to endure significant revenue reductions," O'Malley complained.
Proponents of internet poker have suggested that the support of the deficit "super-committee" could be influential in ensuring the safe passage of internet poker legalization proposals currently in Congress or about to be launched.
But O'Malley claimed that federalising Internet poker would widen state budget deficits and threaten any economic recovery.
"Historically, states have had the right to make their own decisions about whether to offer gambling and how to regulate the industry," O'Malley said. "These [federal] proposals would strip states of those rights."
Maryland's lottery, founded in 1972, generates $519 million a year for the state government and is its fourth largest revenue stream. The eastern state also boasts six slots-only land casinos.