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States rights issues cloud federal online poker legislation

Governors have written to Congress expressing their opposition to proposed measure as an ‘unnecessary pre-emption of state authority’.

Tuesday 30th October 2012

The National Governors Association (NGA) has penned a letter to leaders in the United States Senate and House of Representatives opposing proposed legislation that could see some forms of online poker and off-track horserace wagering legalised. In its correspondence sent to Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell in addition to House of Representatives leaders John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, the NGA revealed that it is against the draft Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012 bill due to states rights issues. “On behalf of the nation’s governors, we urge you again to involve the states collectively in the development of possible legislation to regulate Internet gaming,” read the letter authored by Governors Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Steven Beshear from Kentucky. “[The] NGA has reviewed draft Senate legislation that would prohibit Internet gaming, whether interstate or intrastate, except off-track horse wagers and licensed online poker. As you know, states that authorise gaming in whatever form derive significant revenues critical to help fund programs for education, senior citizens, military veterans, and other important services. “The draft would pre-empt emerging state regulatory authority recently established by the US Justice Department under a reinterpretation of the federal Wire Act, which could restrict state revenues derived from gaming.We oppose the draft Senate legislation in its current form as an unnecessary pre-emption of state authority. “We urge Congress to engage with us during the entire legislative process on matters like this that could pre-empt or otherwise alter the authority of states.” However, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has recently disagreed with the NGA’s opinion by announcing his support for the federal legislation. The Republican stated that online gaming is ‘inevitable’ and that the co-sponsored bill represents a ‘sensible federal approach’.

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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