This is something that could quite well be over before it even gets off the ground, however stranger things have indeed happened. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is about to introduce a bill next week that would make all regulated US online gambling illegal. This would mean that states like Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey would have to roll back their offerings and basically forget about them, and it comes hand in hand with Sheldon Adelson’s obsession to criminalize regulated online gambling, although he has of course earned billions of dollars from his regulated land based casinos. There’s draft legislation already doing the rounds and initial reports suggest that horse racing betting and fantasy sports betting would be left alone, however poker and casino would both become illegal. Illegal that is when operated and regulated by states, offshore gaming companies such as BetOnline would not of course come under this law.
It has to be remembered that Sheldon Adelson is a huge donor to the Republican Party and that the introduction of the bill is quite possibly some way of a thanks in return for the millions he has provided them with. Adelson’s push for stamping out regulated online gaming via the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling quite obviously gave this bill a big thumbs up stating that, “We support and applaud all efforts to restore the long-standing interpretation that the Wire Act prohibits Internet gambling. It’s common sense that putting a virtual casino in the pocket of every American with a phone is bad public policy.” There is of course opposition to the bill with the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection arguing that, “Banning all online gaming nationwide, as this bill effectively does, would put American consumers at serious risk,” said their spokeswoman Mary Bono, adding “It is impossible to stand in the way of the Internet; instead, we should embrace and shape these new technologies in a way that is safe for consumers.” It’s likely that the bill will meet more strong opposition, and we’ve only a week or so to find out the full extent of that.