PA Legalization of Online Gambling Spurs Bipartisan Backlash

Published December 4, 2017 by Elana K

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wrote a letter to Deputy Director Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein warning him of the sire consequences of online gambling.

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize online gambling. The triumph of Pennsylvania’s online gambling supporters, however, seems to have awakened the wrath of industry opponents. This rude awakening came in the form of a letter from Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) addressed to Deputy Director Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

The letter warns the deputy director attorney general about the dangers of online gambling and calls on him to take away the states’ power to legalize it and give that power only to the federal government.

Currently, each state has the power to legalize online gambling, or not; this power was given to them from the DOJ in 2011. Currently, only 4 states have taken advantage of legalizing online gambling: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and now, Pennsylvania.

This is not the first letter that Senators Feinstein and Graham have penned in opposition to online gambling; 3 years ago they wrote a similar letter to the DOJ, warning of the dangers of online gambling

Excerpts From the Letter

Here are some excerpts from the senators' recent letter:

Internet gambling takes gambling too far. It preys on children and society’s most vulnerable. The FBI has concluded that “online casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes,” including money laundering and ventures by transnational organized crime groups...We fear that unless DOJ promptly revisits its 2011 opinion, our prediction that online casinos could sweep across our country could come to pass.

An Overturned Ruling Unlikely.

The likelihood of the attorney general to act on this letter is low. If the DOJ would consider overturning its 2011 ruling, the 4 states that have already legalized online gambling would quickly file lawsuits, and the issue would spend a long, long time in court before any resolution could be reached.

So or now, it seems that online gambling remains safely in the hands of the states, despite the efforts of online gambling opponents who would trample on states’ rights just to prove a point.

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