Senators push DOJ on online gambling ban

A group of senators want the Justice Department’s help to ban online gambling.

ADVERTISEMENT
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderLawyer claims death threats after anti-Black Lives Matter lawsuit Adviser: Obama can’t ‘erase decades’ of racism Airbnb enlists civil rights leaders in discrimination fight MORE this week, three senators are asking the agency to support their bill that would reinstate a federal ban on online gambling.

“We must act before we find virtual casinos making gambling pervasive in our society, invading living rooms, bedrooms, and dorm rooms across the country; a result we know the DOJ does not want to see,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senators buck spending bill over Export-Import Bank Pelosi pans latest GOP stopgap spending offer MORE (R-S.C.), Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteSenate rivals gear up for debates WATCH LIVE: Warren campaigns for Clinton in NH Green group endorses in key Senate races MORE (R-N.H.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinOvernight Tech: Pressure builds ahead of TV box vote | Intel Dems warn about Russian election hacks | Spending bill doesn't include internet measure Intel Dems: Russia making 'serious effort' to influence US election GOP senators: Obama rebuffed negotiations on 9/11 bill MORE (D-Calif.), who earlier this year introduced a bill that would overturn a 2011 DOJ opinion that opened the door to online gambling.

In 2011, the Justice Department reinterpreted the Wire Act to ban only sports betting. Since that ruling, three states have legalized online gambling.

In March, Graham and Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzFBI releases interviews with Clinton aides The Hill's 12:30 Report Top Clinton aide granted immunity deal in FBI probe MORE (R-Utah) introduced a bill — backed by GOP megadonor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — to restore the pre-2011 DOJ interpretation of the Wire Act.

In their letter this week, the senators wanted that the 2011 ruling if “left on its own, … could usher in the most fundamental change in gambling in our lifetimes by turning every smart phone, tablet, and personal computer in our country into a casino available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

They asked Holder to support the bill to keep online gambling from opening “the door to money laundering and other criminal activity” as well as hurting “children and society’s most vulnerable.”

The senators told Holder that they “fully expect the Senate will act on our legislation this year.”

“With your help, and the backing of the DOJ, we are confident we can succeed in this effort,” they said.