Sunday September 7,2014 : UTAH SENATOR ON STATES RIGHTS.
But Republican Mike Lee says online gambling is the exception.
A Senator from the notoriously anti-gambling and conservative state of Utah (that's the home state of Representative Jason Chaffetz, who is trying to resurrect the Wire Act and ban online gambling) has opined that states' rights should be respected….but not when it comes to online gambling.
In an interview with Reason.com over the weekend, Mike Lee, the junior Senator from Utah and a member of the anti-online gambling faction in Congress who supports the Graham-Chaffetz bills, drew a distinction between traditional and online gambling, suggesting that whilst the former is correctly controlled and the responsibility of individual states, the latter should be an exception to the rule and fall under federal authority.
"States should be the entities that decide on issues of gambling that takes place within the state," Lee said. "But where you've got gambling that takes place online, the online world is an interstate and an international network of wires.
"It really becomes an interstate exercise the minute you take it online. If you think about it, this is actually a necessary step to take to respect each state's right to decide whether or to what extent to allow gambling and that's necessary in order to preserve each state's right to decide.
"Otherwise, you could have one state here or there authorizing gambling and if no one is able to prohibit Internet gambling, then people in every state would be able to gamble."
Expanding on his view, Lee said he was approaching the issue with a federal perspective.
"I don't think it's the federal government's job to say that every state must recognize gambling, nor is it the government's job to say that states may authorize Internet gambling," he said. "The best way for the federal government to respect the sovereignty of the states is to place legalization like [the Restoration of the American Wire Act] so that one state's law can't be easily circumvented."
InfoPowa readers may recall a wave of publicity earlier this year in which two bipartisan Utah District Attorneys – Troy Rawlings and Sim Gill – went public with a complaint that despite the results of an extensive FBI and state investigation the US Department of Justice had "run away" from taking over a case in which allegations had been made regarding Senator Lee and Nevada Senator Harry Reid (allegations which the two Senators denied).
The Utah officials said the evidence related to suspect campaign contributions and other financial transactions, and surfaced as investigations into Utah Attorney General John Swallow and online poker and corruption allegations progressed.
Swallow denied the allegations against him, but resigned his state post less than a year after being elected.