US Regulation Roundup: Let States Decide for ThemselvesPublished August 28, 2014 by Lee R
Federal movements to ban online gambling interfere with various state efforts to harness the benefits.
An official states' rights organization has called on the federal government to respect the decisions of states to adopt and regulate online gambling, despite a federal movement to ban the controversial subject outright.
NCSL Advocates States' Right to Choose
In the annual business meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Standing Committee on Budgets and Revenue released a list of policy resolutions around a prevailing theme of states’ rights to promote public interests such as public pensions, taxes and health care.
The last section squarely addressed states' rights to online gaming stating that “the federal government must respect the sovereignty of states to allow or to prohibit Internet gambling by its residents...”
Online Poker in Cali Legislative Proposal Coming Back
Next year's legislative sessions represent a new opportunity for California lawmakers to formally consider regulation of online poker. Assemblyman Reginald Byron-Jones Sawyer Sr. has prioritized the submission of a new online poker bill for the the 2015/2016 legislative session.
The last online poker bill that Jones-Sawyer introduced, was apparently too complicated. According to OnlinePokerReport, AB 2291 was withdrawn due to the fact that “the Department of Justice and the California Gaming Commission did not have enough time to review the language and make relevant recommendations” on the bill's proposed regulatory structure.
Adapted Language and Core Issue Focus Required
The main obstacle in the state Senate to passage seems to be overemphasis of “bad actor” language designed to prevent online operators from operating in California before regulation.
Georgia Leads State Opposition
US Senator Lindsey Graham is the leader of the movement in federal Congress to pass legislation banning online gambling at the federal level, a blanket ban which includes the popular and long-standing state lotteries as well.
The first state to offer its lottery play online is Georgia, with state benefits experienced from the increased proceeds spurring that state to become a leading voice opposing any proposed federal bans. The state claims it has raised over $6 million for its education fund and other state interests since the launch of online lottery ticket sales.
Online Gaming Revenues in Delaware Dwindle
According to the Delaware lottery, the state's three online gambling operators (Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway) took in $173,096.40 in wagering revenues in June, with $31,397.57 of that figure coming from online poker.
This was only slightly lower than the entire $187,000 take for Delaware state Internet gaming revenue overall. Since initiating online gaming in November 2013, Delaware's best month for I-gaming was April, with revenues of $240,762.63. Online poker peaked in December, with a take of $106,922.76 for the state. April’s overall I-gaming revenue of $240,762.63 is the best so far.