Cops: Don’t ban online gambling

The national police officers union is telling Congress not to impose a nationwide ban on online gambling.

“We cannot ban our way out of this problem as this would simply drive online gaming further and further underground and put more and more people at risk,” Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury wrote to heads of the House Judiciary Committee last week.

“Not only does the black market for Internet gaming include no consumer protections, it also operates entirely offshore with unlicensed operators, drastically increasing the threat of identity theft, fraud or other criminal acts.”

The police union is pushing back against measures like a bill from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that would ban most forms of online gambling across the country.

Those types of efforts, which are backed by casino magnate and conservative mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, would prevent state governments from creating consumer protection provisions that keep crooks out of the game.

Since a 2011 decision by the Department of Justice that lifted the ban on online betting, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have made moves to allow Internet gaming within their borders.

That’s set up a lobbying battle between opponents of the gambling, who worry about a casino on every smartphone, and supporters who want it regulated by the government.