Nevada Gov. Sandoval Talks Online Gambling with AG Sessions

Elana K. - May 1, 2017

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and discussed the issue of online gambling. Sessions is reportedly considering implementing a federal ban on online gambling, and Sandoval is strongly opposed.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week to discuss a number of issues, and of course, the topic of online gambling came up. The meeting followed reports that AG Sessions is considering reinstituting a federal ban on online gambling, which means that even the states that have already legalized iGaming (Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware) would be banned from such operations.

Nevada Independent reporter Michelle Rindels tweeted updates from the meeting, in which she recorded that Sandoval told Sessions that he himself is an ex-gaming regulator, who knows first-hand that no children have accessed Nevada online gambling sites because the technology they use is foolproof. 

Sandoval’s Background

Not only is Sandoval the governor of Nevada, one of the three states to have legalized online gambling, but he is also the vice chair of the National Governors Association, the group that recently penned a strongly-worded letter urging Sessions not to implement a federal ban on online gambling.

Sandoval firmly stands behind the notion that states can be effective regulators of online gambling, and they have the technology to prevent people from outside the state from accessing gambling sites and to prevent underage gambling - more that can be said for traditional casinos.

Sessions’ Next Move

Sessions didn’t indicate whether he would take Sandoval’s opinions into account. In the past, he has been reported saying that he does not agree with the 2011 Department of Justice ruling that made it legal for states to regulate online gambling. However, words and actions are very different, and so far, there have just been words. 

And yet, there is no telling how the tide will turn, especially when money is involved. Sheldon Adelson, arguably the biggest opponent of online gambling, has donated millions to the Trump campaign/administration, and Sessions is undoubtedly feeling pressure from him. At this point, it’s difficult to say which group will hold more sway - those opposed to or those who support online gambling. 


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