Senators ask DOJ to Rethink Legality of Online Gambling

Business News

Las Vegas Sands Corp chairman Sheldon Adelson has been the biggest opponent to the legalization of online gambling in the United States. The 84 year old billionaire has personally financed “The Coalition To Stop Internet Gambling”, which has campaigned for the 1961 Wire Act to be restored.

The Coalition to stop Internet Gambling has had a lot of success in the past. There are allegations that Adelson who has strong political ties has used his influence to get legislators in different states to oppose the push to legalise online gambling.

The 1961 Wire Act is what the previous Obama administration amended to give each state the power to decide whether to ban or permit online gambling. Pennsylvania became the fourth state in October to legalise online gambling and joined Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are reported to have sent a letter on November 21 to the Trump Administration. The Senators want the Department of Justice (DoJ) to restore the 1961 Wire Act that will strip state governments of the power to legalise online gambling.

Senator Lindsey Graham has campaigned aggressively in the past for online gambling to be banned. It is a little surprising that Senator Dianne Feinstein has also joined the anti-online gambling campaign, given the fact that she is a member of the California legislature.

California is one of the states that has debated the possibility of legalizing online gambling for the last few years. There are some market analysts who remain optimistic and believe that California could become the fifth state to legalise online gambling in the near future.

This could be one of the main reasons why Senator Feinstein has called on California lawmakers to maintain their ban on online gambling.

The letter goes on to point out that online gambling takes advantage of the weak and vulnerable in society. If lawmakers were to restore the 1961 Wire Act, it would strip each state of their power to legalize online gambling and a blanket ban would be imposed.

Online gambling activists have campaigned long and hard to get online gambling legalised throughout the United States and are not intimidated by the letter from the two senators. They have seen more progress in 2017 than they have in the past three years.