Online Gambling Debate Escalates in American States

Published Sunday, February 05, 2012 -

The USA Department of Justice has spoken and the speculators along with their research have been moving as fast as they can to get a place in the American online gambling market should it be legalized federally. Separate States are having debate after debate over the old rules and the new. What is common in all the separate discussion is good old fashioned US competitiveness. States have been trying to lure gambling business away from one another for years. Gamblers from Maine travel to New Hampshire for a chance to win at Powerball jackpots that were millions more than what the state-run Megabucks lottery could generate. Maine adopted Powerball, awhile ago but now states are bracing for internet wagering.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Debra Plowman commented, she had been in Las Vegas at a seminar for the potential impact of the newest Department of Justice clarification of the Wire Act of 1961 on online gambling legislation. Plowman is looking to the future and wants to be prepared, "So what we want to do is ask the attorney general's office, now that this decision has been made, or this interpretation has been made, does our law protect the state as we go forward so that if it's going to be developed, it's going to be developed with the state as the beneficiary, with us controlling the funds, the payments back and forth--or do we need to reserve that right to ourselves?"

Rep. Linda Valentino, a part of Plowman’s committee says if it isn’t embraced it will have to be policed. "Obviously there's a lot of money involved," Valentino continued, "Just because other states are doing it does not necessarily mean Maine has to do it if it's not in the best interests of its business community -- if it's not in the best interests of people that build facilities and invest and pay property taxes on that. But we have to do something. We have to look at this."


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