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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Adelson's Anti-Web Gambling Bill drawing lines in the Democratic camp

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The legislation to ban Internet gambling backed by Sheldon Adelson is expected to be introduced Wednesday in both chambers of Congress by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had written letters to Congressional leaders supporting the ban in anticipation of the introductions. The Democratic Governors Association, which has 11 governors as members, responded with a letter that expressed opposition to the bills.

Graham has found his lead Democratic co-sponsor in California's Dianne Feinstein according to rumors that were circulating. The Poker Players Alliance urged California-based members through email to tweet and call Feinstein to ask her to support regulation and licensing for real consumer protection.

Backing a ban would go against Feinstein's state but her response to online gambling has been just short of completely negative in our opinion. In 2011, PokerWorks' writer PokerHack reported on a letter sent to Feinstein. Read it here.

California has many major player interested in, and working towards, licensing and regulating online poker in the next year.

Perry is asking Congress to call a "time-out" in his letter by restoring the old interpretation of The Wire Act.

"Allowing Internet gaming to invade the homes of every American family, and to be piped into our dens, our living rooms, our workplaces and even our kids' bedrooms and dorm rooms, is a major decision," Perry wrote. "We must carefully examine the short- and long-term social and economic consequences before Internet gambling spreads."

The Democratic Governors Association 11 members consist of chair Peter Shumlin of Vermont, vice chair John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Jerry Brown of California, Steve Bullock of Montana, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Jay Inslee of Washington, Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Jack Markell of Delaware, Martin O'Malley of Maryland and Pat Quinn of Illinois.

In anticipation of the bills being introduced Wednesday, the DGA's letter dated March 26th, is asking Congressional leaders to preserve state rights to regulate gambling. The letter also noted that the bill contains no grandfather clause and would create a $20 billion loss in lottery revenue.

In closing, the letter said: "This bill has a severe and disastrous impact on state governments and, in light of these potential effects, the bill is unworkable and it must be defeated."

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