Monday October 29,2012 : US GOVERNORS AGAINST FEDERAL ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION
Consult and respect state rights, says National Governors Association
The idea of federally legalised online poker accompanied by a ban on other forms of internet gambling in the United States has triggered concerns within the influential National Governor's Association, which has written to Congressional leaders voicing its opposition to the proposed Reid-Kyl bill expected to go before Congress in the end-of-year lame duck session in November.
In a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday, the Association called on lawmakers to include state input before moving any online gambling legalization.
Last December's Justice Department about-face on the Wire Act, admitting that it applied only to sports betting, has opened up possibilities for a number of states with plans for some form of online wagering activity, bolstered by the jealously guarded right of states to make their own decisions on the internet activity.
"The draft would pre-empt emerging state regulatory authority recently established by the U.S. Justice Department under a reinterpretation of the federal Wire Act, which could restrict state revenues derived from gaming," the NGA said in the letter signed by Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett and Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, respectively chairman and vice-chairman of the NGA's Economic Development and Commerce Committee.
The publication Nextgov notes that interference with state revenues is an important objection to the draft bill voiced by governors.
“As you know, states that authorize gaming in whatever form derive significant revenues critical to help fund programs for education, senior citizens, military veterans, and other important services,” the letter points out.
Nevada governor Brian Sandoval is at odds with his fellow governors on this issue, it appears; last week he came out strongly in support of the Reid-Kyl initiative.
That may have been motivated by some opinions that Nevada, which is well advanced in its preparations for regulating intrastate online poker, stands to benefit more than most if the bill is passed in its present form.
In related news, the Nevada media report that Senator Reid (72) was involved in a multi-vehicle road accident Friday in Las Vegas but was not seriously injured.
Reid apparently sustained rib and hip contusions in the midday collision on Interstate 15, members of his staff told media reporters. He was released from hospital after a medical examination.