Democratic governors oppose online gambling ban


A group of Democratic governors is opposing a Republican bill that would prohibit online gambling.

“This bill has a severe and disastrous impact on state governments and … is unworkable and it must be defeated,” the Democratic Governors Association wrote in a letter to Congressional leadership on Wednesday.

{mosads}The bill — with ties to an anti-online gambling push from GOP mega-donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) would reverse a 2011 Department of Justice ruling that said the federal Wire Act prohibits only online sports betting. Since that ruling, three states — Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware — have legalized online gambling within their borders, and a handful more are considering following suit.

In its letter, the Democratic Governors Association said the bill from Graham and Chaffetz would intrude on states’ rights.

“Some states have chosen not to allow and regulate gaming; and for the many states that do allow it, gaming and lotteries are critical to producing the revenue needed to fund important state and local governmental services, such as public education,” the group wrote.

According to the letter, the language in the bill would also ban “traditional lottery draw games, including Mega Millions and Powerball.”

The bill “would financially crush state funded government services,” the group wrote, and the estimated $20 billion loss in lottery revenue “does not even include the loss of actual and future revenues derived from legal and regulated internet gaming and lottery.”

In its letter to congressional leadership, the Democratic governors as for “strong consideration to the importance of preserving these state rights.” 

Tags Gambling Jason Chaffetz Lindsey Graham

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