PRO-ONLINE GAMBLING GROUPS PUSH BACK ON ATTEMPTS TO INFLUENCE INCOMING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION (Update)
 
Nine action groups correspond with Vice President Elect and Attorney General nominee.
 
Last year's appeal by ten state Attorney's General to the incoming Trump administration asking for its support on the Restoration of America's Wire Act has been followed by some push back from nine civil liberties groups that have corresponded with vice president elect Mike Pence and the Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, urging them not to support crony capitalism and trample on states' rights.
 
The letter appeals to the incoming team to honor its election campaign pledges by "refusing special interest demands for a federal prohibition on Internet gambling,” and is signed by:
 
Michelle Minton, Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Norman Singleton, Vice President of Policy, Campaign for Liberty
Andrew F. Quinlan, President , Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director, Digital Liberty
Tom Giovanetti, President, Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
Brian Garst, Director of Policy and Communications, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Paul Gessing, President, Rio Grande Foundation
 
The letter can be accessed at Online Poker Review here: http://www.onlinepokerreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Minton-Coalition-Letter-Online-Gambling-2.pdf
 
It discusses the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice's 2011 legal opinion that the federal Wire Act was never intended to apply to online casino and poker activity and is confined to sports betting…and suggests that the intention was to assist individual states in their enforcement of gambling laws.
 
The letter was followed by commentary from the Poker Players Alliance on the recent confirmation hearings on Jeff Sessions. PPA executive director John Pappas references a provision of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which he claims allows individual states to regulate and license online gambling.
 
Specifically, the relevant clause exempts intrastate online gambling legalized by a state from the UIGEA provisions, providing that such laws do not violate four specific federal gambling laws:
 
Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978
Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
Gambling Devices Transportation Act
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
 
Pappas argues that this sits comfortably with the Office of Legal Counsel's 2011 assessment of the Wire Act as pertaining only to online sports betting, and implies that individual states may legalize intrastate online poker and casino games.
 
Pappas cleverly turned the words of avowed anti-online gambling campaigner Sen. Lindsey Graham on the senator by commenting:
 
“I agree with Senator Graham, ‘when the state is doing its job, the federal government should let the states do their job.'
 
“States around the country are doing their jobs by effectively regulating internet gaming. The next Attorney General should not usurp the rights of states. A de facto federal prohibition of internet gaming will undermine the ability of states to protect consumers and will lead to an unaccountable and completely unregulated black market.”