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It restores the old interpretation of the U.S. Wire Act

The legalization of internet gambling is a debate that could soon take a turn as new legislation -- backed by Sheldon Adelson -- has been proposed.

According to The Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have introduced joint legislation that would ban all Internet gambling in the United States (except fantasy sports and horse racing). 

This new bill is based on the old interpretation of the U.S. Wire Act, which made online gambling illegal. However, in 2011, a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) legalized online gambling once again -- giving the Wire Act a new interpretation.

Sen. Graham believes the fact that a judge's decision was used to legalize online gambling instead of the legislative branch was unacceptable. 

"If you want to have online gambling, then come to the Congress," said Sen. Graham. "Let’s have a debate."

Since the DOJ decision, U.S. states like Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have legalized online gambling. 


Sheldon Adelson [SOURCE: ABC News]

The bill has a lot of support, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who said that online gambling sites don't screen for underage gamblers and do nothing to prevent/take care of fraud, criminal acts or money laundering. The bill is also supported by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

But one of the main forces behind the bill is Sheldon Adelson, who owns the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and opposes online gaming because it could be harmful to children.

“The fact that Sheldon is on board is a good thing, but I'm doing this because this is ... what I feel like I should do," said Sen. Graham.

Those who support online gambling say that it should be legal, but regulated to prevent gambling addictions. 

Former Reps. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) and Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), chairmen of the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, said the online gambling ban would reduce consumer protections because it would cause the black market to "thrive" and make people less safe online. 

The bill is to be introduced this week.

Source: The Hill





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