US Legislation Update: Online Gambling Takes a Hit in WA, MSPublished February 12, 2015 by Elana K
Bills to regulate online gaming in Washington and Mississippi do not get off the ground.
Proponents of state-regulated online gambling have taken a heavy hit this week; bills to legalize online gambling in both Washington and Mississippi have been shelved.
Washington State: Gambling No-Go
State Rep. Sherry Appleton was the driving force behind Washington's House Bill 1114, which she introduced earlier this year. But she was unable to gather enough support for her endeavor, so the bill never made it passed the first step.
Mississippi Bill's Dead
Democrat Bobby Moak had been working in Mississippi to pass the “Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2015,” but this too did not make it past committee. Moak hopes that at the very least, all the press that surrounded the bill will at least give it more of a chance at getting heard in 2016.
Part of the publicity surrounding Mississippi’s bill surrounded a specific detail: a fine of $10,000 and up to 90 days in prison for people caught gambling on unregulated sites.
Future of State-Regulated Gambling
Washington and Mississippi may be down and out, but there are still three states with legalized online gambling that are going strong: Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Moreover, there is still hope that California will pass their internet gambling bills through, which would be a big coup for those who support legalized online gambling in the United States.
However, Sheldon Adelson and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz are doing their utmost to put a stop to all regulated online gambling, with the reintroduction of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. If approved, the anti-gambling bill will prohibit online gambling across the country, even in the three states that already permitted it. The bill allows for a few exceptions, such as fantasy sports, sports betting and horse racing. It is not quite clear how the allowance of certain kinds of betting jives with Chaffetz’s rhetoric that online gambling targets children and should be banned on moral grounds.